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J Electrocardiol. 1994;27 Suppl:14-9.

Effects of age, sex, and race on ECG interval measurements.

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Department of Medical Cardiology, University of Glasgow, Royal Infirmary, Scotland.


The effects of age, sex, and race on the electrocardiogram (ECG) were studied using three separate populations: a pediatric group of 1,782 neonates, infants, and children, and adult white group of 1,555 individuals, and an adult Chinese cohort of 503 individuals. All ECGs were processed using the same computer program, and various interval measurements were derived, including QRS duration, heart rate, QT dispersion, and selected Q-wave durations. Also, a small subgroup of 195 white subjects had a signal-averaged ECG recorded. In the pediatric group, there was a clear link between age and QRS duration, which increased linearly from about 1 year of age to adolescence. In the adults, the principal differences were an increased QRS duration in men compared with women both in the standard and signal-averaged ECG. Upper limits of normal heart rate also tended to be higher in women than in men in the two adult populations. Small racial differences could be seen in some measurements, but were not thought to be of clinical significance.

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