Prognostic implications of baseline electrocardiographic features and their serial changes in subjects with left ventricular hypertrophy.
BACKGROUND During the past half-century, the ECG has been used extensively for the diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy. Persons with ECG evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy are at increased risk for the development of cardiovascular disease.
METHODS AND RESULTS Subjects from the Framingham Heart Study with ECG evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy were eligible for this investigation if they were free of cardiovascular disease and did not have complete bundle-branch block or Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Logistic regression analyses of pooled biennial examinations were used to determine risk for cardiovascular disease as a function of baseline voltage (sum of R wave in aVL plus S wave in V3) and repolarization and as a function of serial changes in these ECG features of hypertrophy. The eligible sample consisted of 274 men (mean age, 60 years) and 250 women (mean age, 64 years) who contributed 2660 person-examinations. During follow-up, there were 269 new cardiovascular events. Compared with subjects in the first quartile of voltage at baseline, the age-adjusted odds ratio for cardiovascular disease among subjects in the fourth quartile was 3.08 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.87 to 5.07) in men and 3.29 (95% CI, 1.78 to 6.09) in women. Compared with a normal repolarization pattern, the presence of severe repolarization abnormalities was associated with an age-adjusted odds ratio of 5.84 (95% CI, 3.55 to 9.62) in men and 2.47 (95% CI, 1.38 to 4.42) in women. Subjects with a serial decline in voltage were at lower risk for cardiovascular disease than were those with no serial change (men: odds ratio after adjusting for age and baseline voltage, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.84; women: odds ratio, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.30 to 1.04). In contrast, those with a serial increase in voltage were at greater risk for cardiovascular disease (men: odds ratio, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.14 to 3.03; women: odds ratio, 1.61; 95% CI, 0.91 to 2.84). Compared with those with no serial change, an improvement in repolarization was associated with a marginally significant reduction in cardiovascular risk in men (odds ratio after adjusting for age and baseline repolarization, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.20 to 1.01). Worsening of repolarization was associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease in both sexes (men: odds ratio, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.05 to 3.40; women: odds ratio, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.07 to 3.81).
CONCLUSIONS The results of this investigation suggest that regression of ECG features of left ventricular hypertrophy confers an improvement in risk for cardiovascular disease, whereas serial worsening imposes increased risk. The benefits to be derived from regression of left ventricular hypertrophy must be confirmed in other clinical settings.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association