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QT Interval Dynamics and Cardiovascular Outcomes: A Cohort Study in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System

Background Long QT has been associated with ventricular dysrhythmias, cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, and sudden cardiac death. However, no studies to date have investigated the dynamics of within-person QT change over time in relation to risk of incident CVD and all-cause mortality in a real-world setting. Methods and Results A cohort study among members of an integrated health care delivery system in Northern California including 61 455 people (mean age, 62 years; 60% women, 42% non-White) with 3 or more ECGs (baseline in 2005-2009; mean±SD follow-up time, 7.6±2.6 years). In fully adjusted models, tertile 3 versus tertile 1 of average QT corrected (using the Fridericia correction) was associated with cardiac arrest (hazard ratio [HR], 1.66), heart failure (HR, 1.62), ventricular dysrhythmias (HR, 1.56), all CVD (HR, 1.31), ischemic heart disease (HR, 1.28), total stroke (HR, 1.18), and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.24). Tertile 3 versus tertile 2 of the QT corrected linear slope was associated with cardiac arrest (HR, 1.22), ventricular dysrhythmias (HR, 1.12), and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.09). Tertile 3 versus tertile 1 of the QT corrected root mean squared error was associated with ventricular dysrhythmias (HR, 1.34), heart failure (HR, 1.28), all-cause mortality (HR, 1.20), all CVD (HR, 1.14), total stroke (HR, 1.08), and ischemic heart disease (HR, 1.07). Conclusions Our results demonstrate improved predictive ability for CVD outcomes using longitudinal information from serial ECGs. Long-term average QT corrected was more strongly associated with CVD outcomes than the linear slope or the root mean squared error. This new evidence is clinically relevant because ECGs are frequently used, noninvasive, and inexpensive.

Authors: Mantri, Neha; Lu, Meng; Zaroff, Jonathan G; Risch, Neil; Hoffmann, Thomas; Oni-Orisan, Akinyemi; Lee, Catherine; Jorgenson, Eric; Iribarren, Carlos

J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 10 05;10(19):e018513. Epub 2021-09-28.

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