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Am J Cardiol. 1987 Apr 1;59(8):862-5.

Diseases and drugs causing prolongation of the QT interval.


The prolonged QT interval and its association with diseases and drugs was studied on the basis of computerized electrocardiograms recorded in the region of the Kuopio University Central Hospital, East Finland. Altogether, 33,655 persons in whom at least 1 electrocardiogram was recorded from 1975 to 1983 were found. The study population consisted of 183 persons with prolonged QT intervals (at least 470 ms) and 187 with normal QTc intervals (440 ms or less), aged 45 to 64 years. These subjects were selected from 14,990 persons eligible. No difference in the prevalence of diseases affecting the QTc interval was found between those with long QTc intervals and those with normal QTc intervals. No difference between the groups was found in use of quinidine, procainamide or disopyramide. When the comparison was made on the basis of all group 1A antiarrhythmic drugs (quinidine, procainamide and disopyramide combined), persons with prolonged QTc intervals used these drugs more often than did those with normal QTc intervals (p = 0.031). Use of sotalol was significantly more common (p less than 0.001) in subjects with long QTc intervals. The mortality rate was also higher in persons with prolonged QTc interval (p less than 0.001), and most deaths during follow-up were due to coronary artery disease.

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