Relationship between Ventricular Premature Contractions on Routine Electrocardiography and Subsequent Sudden Death from Coronary Heart Disease
The association between ventricular premature contractions (VPC) on routine ECG and sudden death (SD) from coronary heart disease (CHD) during an ll-year period was examined in a historic prospective study of 1,214 white male factory workers, ages 35-69, in Canton, North Carolina. Prevalence of VPC was 92 (6.7%) increasing from 2% to 15% with age. Sixty of the 118 deaths were ascribed to CHD, 38 (63.3%) with 24-hour SD, and 27 (45%) with 1-hour SD. The relative risk of 1-hour SD for those with VPC was not increased (0.9); the risk of 24-hour SD was increased only minimally (1.3). Within the age band 50-59, the relative risk of 24-hour sudden death was 2.4 but the presence of other electrocardiographic abnormality carried the same increased risk. For the Canton population, using VPC on routine ECG as predictor of sudden death yielded no advantage over other ECG abnormalities.
- Received July 21, 1972.
- Accepted November 8, 1972.
- © 1973 American Heart Association, Inc.