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Keywords:

  • electrocardiography;
  • coronary heart disease;
  • 10-year risk score

Background: Little is known about the relationship between resting electrocardiogram (ECG) parameters and the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). We sought to establish the association between ECG parameters and estimated 10-year risk for CHD.

Methods: We applied the risk prediction algorithm used by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines to data from 6399 individuals in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (aged 40–79 years) who had sinus rhythm, no previous heart disease, and no evidence of prior myocardial infarction according to the 12-lead Minnesota Code. We used multiple linear and logistic regression models to determine the relationship between 10-year risk for CHD and levels of resting ECG parameters.

Results: After adjusting for age, gender, race, and body mass index, individuals with high risk had higher heart rate (HR), left ventricular mass index (LVMI), and cardiac infarction injury score (CIIS), and longer HR-corrected QT (QTc) interval than those with low risk. In models fully adjusted for coronary risk factors, individuals in the highest quintile of HR, PR, and QTc interval were 2.2, 0.7, and 1.8 times, respectively, more likely to have a high 10-year risk as those in the lowest quintiles. There are dose-dependent associations between HR, LVMI, CIIS, and QTc interval and the 10-year risk group.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that high HR, LVMI, and CIIS and prolonged QTc interval are positively and prolonged PR interval is negatively associated with high 10-year risk for CHD in a general population.

Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol 2010;15(4):315-320