Usefulness of T-axis deviation as an independent risk indicator for incident cardiac events in older men and women free from coronary heart disease (The Cardiovascular Health Study)

Pentti M. Rautaharju, Jennifer Clark Nelson, Richard A. Kronmal, Zhu Ming Zhang, John A Robbins, John S. Gottdiener, Curt D. Furberg, Teri Manolio, Linda Fried

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77 Scopus citations


T-axis shift has been reported to be an indicator of increased mortality risk. We evaluated the association of spatial T-axis deviation with incident coronary heart disease (CHD) events in older men and women free from clinically overt CHD. Spatial T-axis deviation was measured from the standard 12-lead electrocardiogram of a subgroup of 4,173 subjects considered free of CHD at baseline in the Cardiovascular Health Study, a prospective cohort study of risk factors for CHD and stroke in older men and women. Cox regression analysis was used to evaluate the association of altered repolarization with the risk of incident CHD events. The prevalence of marked T-axis deviation (≥45°) was 12%. During the median follow-up of 7.4 years, there were 161 CHD deaths, 743 deaths from all causes, and 679 incident CHD events. Adjusting for demographic and clinical risk factors, including other electrocardiographic abnormalities, there was a nearly twofold excess risk of CHD death, and approximately a 50% excess risk of incident CHD and all-cause mortality for those with marked T-axis deviation. From other electrocardiographic abnormalities, only QT prolongation was associated with excess risk for incident CHD comparable to that for abnormal T-axis deviation. These results suggest that T-axis deviation is an easily quantified marker for subclinical disease and an independent indicator for the risk of incident CHD events in older men and women free of CHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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