Incidence and Prognostic Value of Early Repolarization Pattern in the 12-Lead Electrocardiogram
Background—Early repolarization pattern is a common ECG finding characterized by J-point elevation and QRS notching or slurring in the inferior and/or lateral leads, yet little is known about its incidence and long-term prognosis in Asian populations.
Methods and Results—We reviewed all the ECG records of the 5976 atomic-bomb survivors who were examined at least once during our biennial health examination in Nagasaki, Japan, between July 1958 and December 2004. We defined early repolarization pattern as ≥0.1-mV elevation of the J point or ST segment, with notching or slurring in at least 2 inferior and/or lateral leads. We assessed unexpected, cardiac, and all-cause death risk by Cox analysis. We identified 1429 early repolarization pattern cases (779 incident cases) during follow-up, yielding a positive rate of 23.9% and an incidence rate of 715 per 100 000 person-years. Early repolarization pattern had an elevated risk of unexpected death (hazard ratio, 1.83; 95% confidence interval, 1.12 to 2.97; P=0.02) and a decreased risk of cardiac (hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, 0.60 to 0.93; P<0.01) and all-cause (hazard ratio, 0.85; 95% confidence interval, 0.78 to 0.93; P<0.01) death. In addition, both slurring and notching were related to higher risk of unexpected death (hazard ratio, 2.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 4.12; P=0.03), as was early repolarization pattern manifestation in both inferior and lateral leads (hazard ratio, 2.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.29 to 4.83; P<0.01).
Conclusions—Early repolarization pattern is associated with an elevated risk of unexpected death and a decreased risk of cardiac and all-cause death. Specific early repolarization pattern morphologies and location are associated with an adverse prognosis.
- Received November 9, 2010.
- Accepted April 29, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.