Background: Previous studies of long QT syndrome (LQTS) have focused primarily on the clinical course of affected patients up to 40 years of age to avoid the confounding influence of acquired heart disease on LQTS-related cardiac events in this genetic disorder.
Methods: Patients were identified as having coronary disease if they had a history of hospitalization for myocardial infarction, coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, or were treated with medication for angina. LQTS-related cardiac events included the first occurrence of syncope, aborted cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac death without evidence suggestive of an acute coronary event. Cox proportional hazards regression modeling was used to analyze the independent contribution of coronary disease to LQTS-related cardiac events.
Results: Time-dependent coronary disease was associated with an increased risk of LQTS-related cardiac events (hazard ratio 2.24, 95% confidence interval 1.23–4.07, P = 0.008) after adjustment for syncopal history before age 40, QTc, and gender. Factors such as diabetes and hypertension that increase the risk for coronary disease were not associated with an increased risk for LQTS-related cardiac events.
Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate that coronary disease augments the risk for LQTS-related cardiac events in LQTS. The findings highlight the need for more focused preventive therapy in LQTS patients above the age of 40.