New research is suggesting that a high “resting heartbeat” could mean you have a higher risk of dying early.

Your resting heart rate or pulse is the number of times your heart beats a minute, when you’re seated or lying down and relaxed, a normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats a minute, according to the American Heart Association.

“Higher resting heart rate is an independent predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular death,” said lead researcher Dr. Dongfeng Zhang, of the department of epidemiology at the Medical College of Qingdao University in Shandong, China.

Compared to people with the lowest resting heart rate, those with a resting heart rate of more than 80 beats a minute had a 45 percent greater risk of death from any cause, while people with a resting heart rate of 60 to 80 beats a minute had a 21 percent greater risk.

You can check your heart rate by putting your finger over your pulse and counting the number of beats in 60 seconds.

When resting heart rate approached 100 beats a minute a rapid heart rate called tachycardia risk of death from heart disease grew significantly. Tachycardia can be a sign of serious heart problems.

A fast resting heart rate can affect the body in ways that may be bad for the heart.

Resting heart rate reflects the activity of the autonomic nervous system and hormone levels as well as heart fitness, he said. Increased activity of the autonomic nervous system and higher hormone levels can contribute to the start and progression of heart disease.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, “Further studies are needed to determine whether using the resting heart rate to predict the risk of dying has meaningful impact and whether specific interventions to lower heart rate translates into improved outcomes.”