Abstract 20467: Electrocardiogram Patterns in Eating-disordered Young Females
Introduction: Eating disorders pose a significant cardiovascular risk with increased morbidity and mortality in young adults. The evidence on electrocardiographic changes in young females with eating disorders that result in cardiovascular morbidity and contribute to mortality is conflicting.
Objective: To evaluate the relationship between electrocardiogram (EKG) patterns in eating disordered participants and college-aged female athlete participants in sports other than endurance sports.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed EKGs from 201 female patients of The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorder Treatment and 53 healthy Harvard University athletes in pre-season screening of 2015. We excluded sports with a high likelihood to have athletes with lower body mass indices (BMI) and higher endurance athletic sports. Two board certified cardiologists measured heart rate (HR) and QT durations separately and Bazett’s method was used to calculate corrected QT intervals (QTc).
Results: HR was significantly associated with QTc in all participants (p values: 0.008 (bulimia), <0.001 (anorexia) and 0.002 (controls)), showing a stronger association in anorexics compared to bulimics. Participants with bulimia had significantly higher HRs at baseline than controls (p value 0.019) however this difference did not translate to significantly different QTcs. There was a positive trend in the relationship between BMI and HR in all groups, achieving slight significance in participants with eating disordered behaviors (anorexic; p value 0.07). There was a significant difference in HR (p value 0.003) and QTc (p value 0.031) in the anorexic group on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) compared to those not on these medications, with higher increases in QTc for every unit rise in HR in the group on medications. We observed a slightly positive correlation between BMI and HR in the non-SSRI receiving anorexic group (p value 0.045).
Conclusion: Our results expand on current data linking eating disorders with increased basal HR by suggesting that the changes in HR and QT prolongation may not be mediated through BMI alone. Further investigation of the mechanisms that play a role in the structural and functional electrocardiographic abnormalities in eating disorders is warranted.
Author Disclosures: O. Ajala: None. W. Coppolino: None. S. Naderi: None. M. Wood: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.