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J Electrocardiol. 1987 Oct;20 Suppl:44-7.

Electrocardiographic changes with advancing age. A cross-sectional study of the association of age with QRS axis, duration and voltage.

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Framingham Heart Study, Massachusetts 01701.


In order to examine the electrocardiographic (ECG) changes which occur with advancing age we defined an apparently healthy reference population derived from prospectively followed subjects of the Framingham Heart Study. Healthy subjects were clinically free of hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and valve disease and were not taking antihypertensive or other cardiac medications. ECG tracings were analyzed by the IBM Bonner (V2) program. Mean values and correlations with age for PR duration, QRS duration and axis, S wave voltage V1 and R wave voltage V5 are presented. With advancing age in men there is a narrowing of QRS, a leftward QRS axis shift, and a loss of S V1 and R V5 amplitude. In women only a leftward QRS axis shift is associated with advancing age. These changes should be considered in defining normal age- and sex-specific reference values. These findings underscore theoretical limitations of commonly-used criteria for the ECG diagnosis of conditions such as left ventricular hypertrophy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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