Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Gender Specific Formula for Peak Heart Rate

According to a report published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, women have a new formula that estimates the peak heart rate that a healthy woman should attain during exercise.

Previously, both men and women used the formula, 220 minus age, for the peak heart rate that should be obtained during exercise. Now the formula for women is 206 minus 88 percent of age. In comparison, the original formula gave a peak heart rate of 170 for 50 year olds. The new formula gives a peak heart rate of 162 for 50 year old women.

The peak heart rate becomes important when using the chronotropic index. Studies have shown that men who score less than 0.8 on the chronotropic index have a higher risk of dying prematurely. However, this study assumed that the peak heart rate is 220 minus age. It has been found that this assumption made the prediction of premature death less useful for women. The new formula for peak heart rate may improve the prediction of the chronotropic index for women.


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