Increased heart rate is an independent risk factor for patients with cardiovascular disease, in particular those with arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and extracardiac comorbidities like microalbuminuria. This relation is supported by a large number of animal studies as well as clinical trials, which are summarized in this article. These studies demonstrate the detrimental effects of increased heart rate on the structure and function of the cardiovascular system. Heart rate can be easily measured during physical examination of the patient, therefore allowing us to make a simple assessment of the prognosis and efficiency of therapy. Thus heart rate, which can selectively be reduced by If channel inhibition, seems to be a therapeutic target in cardiolog
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