Background: To investigate the association between resting heart rate and the risk of developing impaired fasting glucose (IFG), diabetes and conversion from IFG to diabetes. Methods: The prospective analysis included 73 357 participants of the Kailuan cohort (57 719 men and 15 638 women). Resting heart rate was measured via electrocardiogram in 2006. Incident diabetes was defined as either the fasting blood glucose (FBG) ≥ 7.0 mmol/l or new active use of diabetes medications during the 4-year follow-up period. IFG was defined as a FBG between 5.6 and 6.9 mmol/l. A meta-analysis including seven published prospective studies focused on heart rate and diabetes risk, and our current study was then conducted using random-effects models. Results: During 4 years of follow-up, 17 463 incident IFG cases and 4 649 incident diabetes cases were identified. The corresponding adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for each 10 beats/min increase in heart rate were 1.23 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.19, 1.27] for incident diabetes, 1.11 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.13) for incident IFG and 1.13 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.17) for IFG to diabetes conversion. The risks of incident IFG and diabetes were significantly higher among participants aged < 50 years than those aged ≥ 50 years (P-interaction < 0.02 for both). A meta-analysis confirmed the positive association between resting heart rate and diabetes risk (pooled HR for the highest vs lowest heart rate quintile=1.59, 95% CI:1.27, 2.00; n=8). Conclusion: Faster resting heart rate is associated with higher risk of developing IFG and diabetes, suggesting that heart rate could be used to identify individuals with a higher future risk of diabetes.
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