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J Clin Epidemiol. 1990;43(1):93-9.

The effect of the number of electrocardiograms analyzed on cardiovascular disease surveillance: the Minnesota Heart Survey (MHS).

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Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.


One method used to control costs in community cardiovascular disease surveillance is to limit the number of electrocardiograms (ECGs) used to validate acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The Minnesota Heart Survey investigated the impact of decreasing the maximum number of ECGs analyzed on classification of ECG pattern and final AMI diagnosis (definite, probable, none). A 50% sample of all 1980 acute CHD hospital discharge records (ICD-9 code 410 or 411) from 30 of 31 Twin Cities hospitals were abstracted. Comparing results using all available ECGs in the record (maximum of 12) with those obtained using up to 4 ECGs showed little differences in the ECG classification or final AMI diagnosis.

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