Mortality risk associated with electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities has been commonly reported to be lower in women than in men. We compared coronary heart disease (CHD) and all-cause mortality risk for ECG variables during a mean 9.1-year follow-up in 4,912 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study who were <65 years of age. The hypothesis was that mortality risk for ECG abnormalities is not lower in women than in men. Five ECG variables were significant mortality predictors in Cox regression models that were adjusted for demographic, clinical, and medication variables. Gender differences were significant and mortality risk was higher in women for ECG estimates of left ventricular mass for both end points and for nondipolar QRS voltage for all-cause mortality. When evaluated simultaneously in multiple ECG variable risk models in subgroups that were stratified by baseline CHD status, no gender difference was significant. In the latter models, ST depression was a strong predictor of CHD mortality in groups with and without previous CHD. Other significant ECG predictors were previous myocardial infarction in the previous CHD group and nondipolar QRS voltage in the CHD-free group. Four ECG abnormalities were significant predictors of all-cause mortality in the CHD-free group, with risk increases of 18% to 50%. The risk of all-cause mortality in the previous CHD group was significantly increased for ST depression (by 64%), the ECG estimate of left ventricular mass (by 48%), and previous myocardial infarction (by 34%). In conclusion, we found no evidence that the relative risk of mortality for ECG abnormalities is lower in women than in men.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine