Increased prevalence of classic early repolarization, defined as ST-segment elevation (STE) in the absence of acute myocardial injury, in African Americans is well established. The prognostic value of this pattern in different ethnicities remains controversial.Measure association between early repolarization and cardiovascular mortality in African Americans.The resting electrocardiograms of 45,829 patients were evaluated at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Hospital. Subjects with inpatient status or electrocardiographic evidence of acute myocardial infarction were excluded, leaving 29,281 subjects. ST-segment elevation, defined as an elevation of >0.1 mV at the end of the QRS, was electronically flagged and visually adjudicated by 3 observers blinded to outcomes. An association between ethnicity and early repolarization was measured by using multivariate logistic regression. We analyzed associations between early repolarization and cardiovascular mortality by using the Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.Subjects were 13% women and 13.3% African Americans, with an average age of 55 years and followed for an average of 7.6 years, resulting in 1995 cardiovascular deaths. There were 479 subjects with lateral STE and 185 with inferior STE. After adjustment for age, sex, heart rate, and coronary artery disease, African American ethnicity was associated with lateral or inferior STE (odds ratio 3.1; P = .0001). While lateral or inferior STE in non-African Americans was independently associated with cardiovascular death (hazard ratio 1.6; P = .02), it was not associated with cardiovascular death in African Americans (hazard ratio 0.75; P = .50).Although early repolarization is more prevalent in African Americans, it is not predictive of cardiovascular death in this population and may represent a distinct electrophysiologic phenomenon.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.hrthm.2011.11.020
View details for PubMedID 22094072