In physiology, the heart rate is "the number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute." This may have to be presented as an average in the presence of arrythmias, such as heart block, when some contractions are missed.
In pharmacology, a drug's affect on heart rate may be predictive of the drugs:
- Benefit in treating
- Equivocal results in treating
- Harm  and benefit in treating hypertension. The INVEST trial used atenolol twice a day if 50 mg once per day did not control pressure. In this study atenolol had similar outcomes to other antihypertensive agents; however patients were included if they had coronary heart disease and benefit was confined to patients with prior myocardial infarction.
- Conflicting evidence for perioperative care suggesting both harm and, in a more complicated analysis that transformed variables and used both mean and maximum heart rates, benefit. Neither analysis included the more recent POISE or DECREASE IV trials.
- Anonymous (2015), Heart rate (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Ranade K, Jorgenson E, Sheu WH, Pei D, Hsiung CA, Chiang FT et al. (2002). "A polymorphism in the beta1 adrenergic receptor is associated with resting heart rate.". Am J Hum Genet 70 (4): 935-42. DOI:10.1086/339621. PMID 11854867. PMC PMC379121. Research Blogging.
- McAlister FA, Wiebe N, Ezekowitz JA, Leung AA, Armstrong PW (June 2009). "Meta-analysis: beta-blocker dose, heart rate reduction, and death in patients with heart failure". Ann. Intern. Med. 150 (11): 784–94. PMID 19487713.
- Cucherat M (December 2007). "Quantitative relationship between resting heart rate reduction and magnitude of clinical benefits in post-myocardial infarction: a meta-regression of randomized clinical trials". Eur. Heart J. 28 (24): 3012–9. DOI:10.1093/eurheartj/ehm489. PMID 17981830. Research Blogging.
- Bangalore S, Sawhney S, Messerli FH (October 2008). "Relation of beta-blocker-induced heart rate lowering and cardioprotection in hypertension". J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 52 (18): 1482–9. DOI:10.1016/j.jacc.2008.06.048. PMID 19017516. Research Blogging.
- Kolloch R, Legler UF, Champion A, et al. (May 2008). "Impact of resting heart rate on outcomes in hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease: findings from the INternational VErapamil-SR/trandolapril STudy (INVEST)". Eur. Heart J. 29 (10): 1327–34. DOI:10.1093/eurheartj/ehn123. PMID 18375982. Research Blogging.
- Pepine CJ, Handberg EM, Cooper-DeHoff RM, et al. (December 2003). "A calcium antagonist vs a non-calcium antagonist hypertension treatment strategy for patients with coronary artery disease. The International Verapamil-Trandolapril Study (INVEST): a randomized controlled trial". JAMA 290 (21): 2805–16. DOI:10.1001/jama.290.21.2805. PMID 14657064. Research Blogging.
- Biccard BM, Sear JW, Foëx P (January 2008). "Meta-analysis of the effect of heart rate achieved by perioperative beta-adrenergic blockade on cardiovascular outcomes". Br J Anaesth 100 (1): 23–8. DOI:10.1093/bja/aem331. PMID 18029345. Research Blogging.
- Beattie WS, Wijeysundera DN, Karkouti K, McCluskey S, Tait G (April 2008). "Does tight heart rate control improve beta-blocker efficacy? An updated analysis of the noncardiac surgical randomized trials". Anesth. Analg. 106 (4): 1039–48. DOI:10.1213/ane.0b013e318163f6a9. PMID 18349171. Research Blogging.
- Dunkelgrun M, Boersma E, Schouten O, et al. (June 2009). "Bisoprolol and fluvastatin for the reduction of perioperative cardiac mortality and myocardial infarction in intermediate-risk patients undergoing noncardiovascular surgery: a randomized controlled trial (DECREASE-IV)". Ann. Surg. 249 (6): 921–6. DOI:10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181a77d00. PMID 19474688. Research Blogging.
- Devereaux PJ, Yang H, Yusuf S, et al. (May 2008). "Effects of extended-release metoprolol succinate in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery (POISE trial): a randomised controlled trial". Lancet 371 (9627): 1839–47. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60601-7. PMID 18479744. Research Blogging.