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Keywords:

  • long QT syndrome;
  • risk stratification, African-Americans

Background: We evaluated the risk factors and clinical course of Long QT syndrome (LQTS) in African-American patients.

Methods: The study involved 41 African-Americans and 3456 Caucasians with a QTc ≥ 450 ms from the U.S. portion of the International LQTS Registry. Data included information about the medical history and clinical course of the LQTS patients with end points relating to the occurrence of syncope, aborted cardiac arrest, or LQTS-related sudden cardiac death from birth through age 40 years. The statistical analyses involved Kaplan-Meier time to event graphs and Cox regression models for multivariable risk factor evaluation.

Results: The QTc was 29 ms longer in African-Americans than Caucasians. Multivarite Cox analyses with adjustment for decade of birth revealed that the cardiac event rate was similar in African-Americans and Caucasians with LQTS and that beta-blockers were equally effective in reducing cardiac events in the two racial groups.

Conclusions: The clinical course of LQTS in African-Americans is similar to that of Caucasians with comparable risk factors and benefit from beta-blocker therapy in the two racial groups.

Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol 2010;15(1):73–76