A group of researchers from Sweden and Finland have revealed that experts can study a young man’s heart rate to predict whether he’s likely to commit violent crimes during his adult years.
The researchers reached this conclusion after recording the blood pressure levels and the heart rates of more than 700.000 male subjects when they were 18 years old. They then followed these men for up to 35 years, and future behavior proved that the subjects who had low heart rates in their youth, had a greater change of committing violent crimes later in life.
However the two aren’t necessarily synonymous. In fact, Antti Latvala, postdoctoral researcher with the University of Helsinki (Finland) and study author, offered a statement to Health Day informing that “It is important to stress that the vast majority of men who have low resting heart rates do not commit crimes”.
The research team described high heart rates as being 83 beats per minute or greater, while low heart rates were described as being 60 beats per minute or less.
About 139.500 of all subjects turned out to have a high heart rate, and almost 132.600 turned out to have a low heart rate as well as a 39 percent (39%) likelihood of being convicted for violent crimes and a 25 percent (25%) likelihood of being convicted for nonviolent crimes.
The results remained unchanged even after the researcher team looked at cardiovascular issues, physical condition, cognitive variables, socioeconomic variables, and other control factors.
Kidnapping, murder, rape, assault and robbery were defined as being violent crimes, while traffic violations, drug dealing and theft were defined as being nonviolent crimes. The researchers checked to see how many of their subjects committed violent and nonviolent crimes by browsing Sweden’s crime register.
The follow up analyses that that Latvala and his team conducted searched for any “association with specific types of crime”, and the team could clearly see that “low resting heart rate was a stronger predictor of severe violent criminality than of less severe violence”.
What’s more, this is not the first time that low heart rates are linked to antisocial behavior. Earlier studies have shown that kids and teens with this condition are generally antisocial.
Some experts have proposed that a low heart rate may be a sign that the individual has chronically low levels of psychological arousal, so he feels the need to search for some more stimulating experiences.
Others have suggested that low heart rates are linked to weaker responses to stress stimuli, encouraging the individual to engage in risky and fearless behaviors.
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