Elevated resting heart rate as a predictor of inflammation and cardiovascular risk in healthy obese individuals

Type Article

Journal Article


F. Al-Rashed; S. Sindhu; A. Al Madhoun; Z. Ahmad; D. AlMekhled; R. Azim; S. Al-Kandari; M. A. A. Wahid; F. Al-Mulla; R. Ahmad

Year of publication



Scientific reports








The role of leukocyte inflammatory markers and toll like receptors (TLRs)2/4 in pathologies associated with elevated resting heart rate (RHR) levels in healthy obese (HO) individuals is not well elucidated. Herein, we investigated the relationship of RHR with expression of leukocyte-inflammatory markers and TLRs in HO individuals. 58-obese and 57-lean participants with no history of a major medical condition, were recruited in this study. In HO individuals, the elevated-RHR correlated positively with diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol, pro-inflammatory monocytes CD11b+CD11c+CD206- phenotype (r = 0.52, P = 0.0003) as well as with activated T cells CD8+HLA-DR+ phenotype (r = 0.27, P = 0.039). No association was found between RHR and the percentage of CD16+CD11b+ neutrophils. Interestingly, elevated RHR positively correlated with cells expressing TLR4 and TLR2 (CD14+TLR4+, r = 0.51, P ≤ 0.0001; and CD14+TLR2+, r = 0.42, P = 0.001). TLR4+ expressing cells also associated positively with the plasma concentrations of proinflammatory or vascular permeability/matrix modulatory markers including TNF-α (r = 0.36, P = 0.005), VEGF (r = 0.47, P = 0.0002), and MMP-9 (r = 0.53, P ≤ 0.0001). Multiple regression revealed that RHR is independently associated with CD14+TLR4+ monocytes and VEGF. We conclude that in HO individuals, increased CD14+TLR4+ monocytes and circulatory VEGF levels associated independently with RHR, implying that RHR monitoring could be used as a non-invasive clinical indicator to identify healthy obese individuals at an increased risk of developing inflammation and cardiovascular disease.