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Clin Cardiol. 2007 Apr;30(4):189-94.

Prognostic value of the computerized ECG in Hispanics.

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Stanford University School of Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5406, USA.



The prevalence and prognostic values of electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities in Hispanics have not been compared to other ethnicities in a large population. Despite a worse cardiovascular risk profile, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease is lower in Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics.


We hypothesized that ECG abnormalities were less common in Hispanics and were not as strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality.


45,563 ECGs ordered for usual clinical indications in a Veteran's hospital were available for analysis. 1,392 patients who died within one week of the ECG were excluded. Demographic characteristics were recorded and the population was followed for an average of 7.5 years using the California Death Index. The presence of baseline ECG characteristics were recorded and analyzed using the GE/Marquette computerized ECG system. Age, sex and heart rate adjusted Cox hazard ratio analyses were performed.


Being Hispanic was associated with lower cardiovascular death, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.76 (95% CI 0.65-0.89). Findings such as atrial fibrillation, presence of Q-waves, left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), upright T-waves in aortic valve replacement (aVR) and cardiac Infarction Injury Scores > 6 were significantly less prevalent in Hispanics than in non-Hispanics. These findings were similarly associated with increased cardiovascular mortality in both groups, each with a HR of approximately 2.


The lower prevalence of ECG characteristics associated with coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation and left ventricular hypertrophy support prior observations that cardiovascular disease is less prevalent in the Hispanic population. These findings, however, are similarly associated with increased mortality compared to non-Hispanics.

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