Mini Review
Volume 8 Issue 6 - 2021
The Equation for Maximal Heart Rate ”220-Age” Revisited: Is it Still Useful?
Michel Tagliati1*, Joseph V Pergolizzi2, Jo Ann LeQuang2* and Peter Magnusson3,4
1Proactive Health Inc., Stockholm, Sweden
2NEMA Research, Inc., USA
3Centre for Research and Development, Region Gävleborg/Uppsala University, Gävle, Sweden
4Department of Medicine, Cardiology Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
*Corresponding Author: Michel Tagliati, Proactive Health Inc., Stockholm, Sweden.
Received: April 04, 2021; Published: May 31, 2021


Introduction: The assessment of maximal heart rate (HRmax) based on the equation HRmax = 220-age has been a central parameter of exercise physiology and applied clinical sciences for almost a century. This equation is often presented without referencing the original research.

Objectives: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important clinical variable and can be associated with morbidity, mortality, reduced health-related quality of life, dysfunction, and loss of independence. CRF decreases with age, but the relationship between aging in years and CRF parameters is not so clear-cut. The problem with using the HRmax = 220-age equation is one of accuracy. Underestimating the maximal heart rate by just six beats per minute (bpm) results in an error of 350 mL/min in the estimated V02max. In other words, for a 75-kg person, this translates to an error of -8.3% or -4.7 mL/kg/min.

Methods: A literary review using keywords “maximum heart rate” in PubMed and Google Scholar studying the most cited and cross referenced articles.

Results: The HRMax = 220 is not based on original research.

Conclusion: Individualized testing prevents the errors of the old HRmax = 220-age equation both in clinical and athletic medicine.

Keywords: Maximal Heart Rate; Cardiorespiratory Fitness; VO2 Max; Maximal Oxygen Consumption; Wireless Heart Monitors


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Citation: Michel Tagliati., et al. “The Equation for Maximal Heart Rate ”220-Age” Revisited: Is it Still Useful?”. EC Cardiology 8.6 (2021): 19-22.

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