WJCD  Vol.3 No.2 , April 2013
ECG is not a reliable predictor of sudden cardiac death in the general population

Objectives: To determine the predictive value of the ECG for sudden death in the general population. Design: In the Copenhagen City Heart Study, a randomly selected population sample in Copenhagen, Denmarkhas been followed prospectively since 1976. From this population sample, we analyzed ECGs of individuals who had suffered sudden cardiac death (SCD) before the age of 50 years and compared them with ECGs of a randomly selected control individuals from the same population sample. Specific ECG signs that could point toward a condition associated with a risk of SCD were noted. Results: From a total of 18,974 individuals in the cohort, 207 had died at an age younger than 50 years. Among these, 24 persons with SCD were identified. The most prevalent ECG abnormality was QRS fragmentation. We found no ECGs with long or short QTc, Brugada sign or WPW. The prevalence of signs of left ventricular hyper-trophy, early repolarization, or fragmentation was not different from the prevalence of these signs in the control group. Conclusion: In the Copenhagen City Heart Study, the ECG failed to predict SCD in persons who died before the age of 50 years.

Cite this paper
Theilade, J. , Pecini, R. , Marott, J. and Jensen, G. (2013) ECG is not a reliable predictor of sudden cardiac death in the general population. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, 3, 239-244. doi: 10.4236/wjcd.2013.32037.
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