To test Raymond Pearl’s hypothesis that “the length of life depends inversely on the rate of living,” resting pulse rates were compared among 30 Columbia College men who died before age 70, and 124 who survived that age. At a mean age of 18, there was no difference; at a mean age of 56, the early decedents had pulse rates 3.2 beats faster, a slight and non-significant difference, in the predicted direction. Tests of association between resting pulse rate and grayness of hair, a surrogate for rate of aging, showed no association among 548 Solomon Islanders, aged 40 years and older. Solomon Island men were significantly grayer than women. Among 440 healthy white veterans in the United States, aged 30 to 79 years, the partial r between pulse rate and grayness, holding age constant, was 0.10, p < 0.02—likewise in the predicted direction. The present results give little or no support to Pearl’s hypothesis, which deserves definitive test.
Damon, Albert and Roen, Janet L.
"Aging in the Solomon Islands and the United States: Tests of Pearl's Hypothesis,"
4, Article 13.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol45/iss4/13