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Am J Med. 1996 Jun;100(6):641-5.

Resting electrocardiographic abnormalities as predictors of coronary events and total mortality among elderly men.

Author information

1
Department of Community Health and General Practice, University of Kuopio, Finland.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine the prognostic significance of electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities among the elderly.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The Finnish cohorts of the Seven Countries Study involved 697 men aged 65 to 84 years at baseline in 1984. A 5-year follow-up was made from 1984 to 1989. Fatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and all-cause mortality were outcome measures.

RESULTS:

Seventy-four fatal myocardial infarctions (MI), 101 fatal or nonfatal Mis, and 207 deaths occurred. When electrocardiographic changes were analyzed one by one, men with Q waves (n = 98), high-amplitude R waves (n = 112), depressed ST-interval (n = 122) or T-wave changes (n = 263) had significantly (P < 0.05) higher risk of coronary events and all-cause mortality than men without these changes. Additionally, men with atrial fibrillation (n = 49) had significantly higher risk of death. Highest risk was observed among men with Q waves together with ST- or T-wave changes. Men with both ST depression and T flattening/inversions without Q waves had also increased risk, whereas this was not true for men with Q waves without concomitant ST- or T-wave changes.

CONCLUSION:

Electrocardiographic abnormalities suggestive of coronary heart disease are associated with a high risk for coronary events and total mortality among elderly men. Among the elderly, a reliable history of coronary heart disease may not be easily achievable, thus the ECG could potentially be used as an indicator of symptomless or atypical heart disease.

PMID:
8678085
DOI:
10.1016/s0002-9343(96)00042-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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