Research brief: Heart deceleration predicts mortality

Impaired heart rate deceleration capacity is a more accurate tool for assessing mortality risk in patients recovering from acute myocardial infarction than left-ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), according to German researchers. Over 2,700 people were assessed post-infarction and followed up for two to three years, during which time 213 died. Analysis showed deceleration capacity on a 24-hour Holter test was a better predictor of death than other measures, including LVEF, in both low- and high-risk populations (Lancet 2006; 367: 1,674-81).

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