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Prevalence of electrocardiographic abnormalities in a middle-aged, biracial population: Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study

BACKGROUND: Few studies to date have described the prevalence of electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities in a biracial middle-aged cohort. METHODS AND RESULTS: Participants underwent measurement of traditional risk factors and 12-lead ECGs coded using both Minnesota Code and Novacode criteria. Among 2585 participants, of whom 57% were women and 44% were black (mean age 45 years), the prevalence of major and minor abnormalities was significantly higher (all P < .001) among black men and women compared to whites. These differences were primarily due to higher QRS voltage and ST/T-wave abnormalities among blacks. There was also a higher prevalence of Q waves (Minnesota Code 1-1, 1-2, 1-3) than described by previous studies. These racial differences remained after multivariate adjustment for traditional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: Black men and women have a significantly higher prevalence of ECG abnormalities, independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, than whites in a contemporary cohort of middle-aged participants.

Authors: Walsh JA 3rd; Prineas R; Daviglus ML; Ning H; Liu K; Lewis CE; Sidney S; Schreiner PJ; Iribarren C; Lloyd-Jones DM

J Electrocardiol. 2010 Sep-Oct;43(5):385.e1-9. Epub 2010 Apr 5.

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