Resting heart rate, heart rate reserve, and metabolic syndrome in professional firefighters: A cross-sectional study

Bong Kyoo Choi, Sang Baek Ko, Stacey Kojaku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about the associations of resting heart rate (RHR) and heart rate reserve (HRR) with metabolic syndrome (MetS) in firefighters. Methods: For each of 288 professional firefighters, HRR was calculated as the difference between measured RHR and estimated maximum HR. For comparison, VO2 max based on a treadmill test was included. MetS was defined according to the NCEP/ATP III criteria. Results: The prevalence of MetS was 14.2%. The average of RHR was 61.5 beat/min. Only 5.8% of the firefighters had RHR of ≥80 beat/min. Between the firefighters in the lowest and highest quintiles, the prevalence ratios (95% confidence intervals) for MetS were 1.88 (0.71-4.94), 5.90 (1.74-20.02), and 8.03 (1.86-34.75) for RHR, HRR, and VO2 max, respectively. Both HRR and VO2 max, but not RHR, were significantly associated with MetS and its most component risk factors in middle-aged firefighters. Conclusions: HRR, a simple cardiovascular fitness measure, was inversely associated with MetS among middle-aged professional firefighters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-910
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We express our sincere thanks to a fire department and a local union of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) in Southern California for their support and input in this study. The fire department and union had no decision-making role in the decision to publish study results or the content of the publication. This study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (Grant #, 5R21OH009911-02). This study was partially supported by the Gangwon Cardiovascular Health Research Institute, South Korea. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC/NIOSH or the Gangwon Cardiovascular Health Research Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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