The Duration of QRS Complex in Resting Electrocardiogram is a Predictor of Sudden Cardiac Death in Men
Background—Previous studies indicate that increased QRS duration in electrocardiogram (ECG) is related to the risk of all-cause death. However, the association of QRS duration with the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) is not well documented in large population-based studies. Our aim was to examine the relation of QRS duration with SCD in a population based sample of men.
Methods and Results—This prospective study was based on a cohort of 2049 men 42 to 60 years of age at baseline with a 19 year follow-up during which a total of 156 SCDs occurred. As a continuous variable, each 10 ms increase in QRS duration was associated with a 27% higher risk for SCD (relative risk (RR) 1.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.14 to 1.40), p<0.001). Subjects with QRS duration of over 110 ms (highest quintile) had a 2.50-fold risk for SCD (RR 2.50, 95% CI (1.38 to 4.55), p=0.002) as compared to those with QRS duration of less than 96 ms (lowest quintile), after adjustment for established key demographic and clinical risk factors (age, alcohol consumption, previous myocardial infarction, smoking, serum LDL and HDL cholesterol, C-reactive protein, type 2 diabetes, body mass index, systolic blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness). In addition to QRS duration, smoking, previous myocardial infarction, type 2 diabetes, cardiorespiratory fitness, body mass index, systolic blood pressure and C-reactive protein were independently associated with the risk of SCD.
Conclusions—QRS duration is an independent predictor of the risk of SCD and may have utility in estimating SCD risk in the general population.
- Received February 14, 2011.
- Accepted March 30, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited