Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In the general population, an increased heart rate is associated with increased mortality. Only a few studies have investigated heart rate in RA patients and compared the results with patients that do not have RA (n-RA). Therefore, little is known as to whether an increased heart rate, at least in part, could explain the increased mortality found in RA patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether heart rate is increased in RA patients.