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Am Heart J. 1986 Feb;111(2):391-7.

A prognostic comparison of asymptomatic left ventricular hypertrophy and unrecognized myocardial infarction: the Framingham Study.


In 30 years of follow-up in the Framingham study, routine biennial ECG examinations revealed 315 subjects with ECG-LVH and 164 with unrecognized ECG-MI without previous cardiac explanation. Among subjects initially free of clinically evident coronary heart disease and both ECG abnormalities, the incidence of ECG-LVH was about double that of ECG-MI. Both events exhibited a male predominance and hypertensive subjects were more vulnerable to each. In subjects with asymptomatic ECG-LVH and ECG-MI, the 10-year, age-adjusted incidence of clinical coronary heart disease was greater than the rate experienced by the general Framingham sample. Rates for ECG-LVH were almost as large as those for ECG-MI. Cardiac failure and stroke also occurred more frequently among subjects with either ECG abnormality, and rates for ECG-LVH exceeded those for ECG-MI. Death from coronary heart disease, and sudden death in particular, was also increased two- to fourfold with similar risks for ECG-LVH and ECG-MI. ECG-LVH carried a significantly greater risk than ECG-MI for cardiovascular deaths in women. These findings suggest that ECG-LVH and ECG-MI are similar subclinical events with respect to predisposing characteristics and prognosis for subsequent overt cardiovascular disease including clinical manifestations of coronary heart disease.

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