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Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2017 Oct;70(10):801-807. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2016.11.039. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

Prevalence of Electrocardiographic Patterns Associated With Sudden Cardiac Death in the Spanish Population Aged 40 Years or Older. Results of the OFRECE Study.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Getafe, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:
Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Getafe, Madrid, Spain.
Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada, Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain.
Instituto Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud e Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de A Coruña (INIBIC), Universidad de A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain.
Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Clínico Universitario Virgen de la Victoria, Málaga, Spain.
Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.



Some electrocardiographic patterns are associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death due to ventricular arrhythmias. There is no information on the prevalence of these patterns in the general population in Spain. The objective of this study was to analyze the prevalence of these patterns and associated clinical and epidemiological factors.


This subanalysis of the OFRECE study selected a representative sample of the Spanish population aged ≥ 40 years. We studied the presence or absence of electrocardiographic patterns of Brugada syndrome and QT interval abnormalities. Clinical data and electrocardiograms were available in all participants. Electrocardiograms were evaluated by 2 cardiologists and a third cardiologist was consulted if there was disagreement in the diagnosis. We calculated the weighted prevalence and clinical factors associated with the presence of Brugada-type patterns or QT segment abnormalities.


Overall, 8343 individuals were evaluated (59.2 years, 52.4% female). There were 12 Brugada cases (type 1, 2 cases; type 2, 10 cases; weighted prevalence, 0.13%). For corrected QT (QTc) analysis, we excluded participants with left bundle branch block or without sinus rhythm. Weighted prevalences were as follows: short QTc (< 340ms) 0.18%, borderline QTc (441-469ms) 8.33%, long QTc (≥ 470ms criterion) 1.01% and long QTc (≥ 480 criterion) 0.42%.


A total of 0.6% to 1.1% of the Spanish population aged ≥ 40 years has an electrocardiographic pattern associated with a higher risk of sudden death (Brugada syndrome, long QT, or short QT).


Epidemiology; Epidemiología; Long QT syndrome; Muerte súbita; Sudden death; Síndrome de QT largo; Tachyarrhythmias; Taquiarritmias

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