ECG findings and coronary heart disease

Silent ECG findings related to CHD mortality


Silent ECG findings meeting specified criteria of the Minnesota Code were found at entry in half of the elderly men from Finland, the Netherlands and Italy. Major Q-waves, ST-T patterns, and arrhythmias were associated with a 3 times greater 10-year CHD mortality rate compared to those with absent or marginal findings. Lesser Q-waves, ST-T patterns, and frequent premature beats were associated with almost twice greater risk. Of the individual codable items, significant associations were observed for major Q-waves, major ST-T patterns, and arrhythmias. A Cardiac Infarction Injury Score designed to discriminate between the presence or absence of a heart attack, along with ST-T patterns were significantly related to risk of fatal CHD in middle-aged and elderly men in Zutphen.


The prevalence of specified ECG findings was high. Major ECG findings were strongly related to fatal CHD. Strength of the associations was similar across cultures despite large differences in absolute risk.



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