Author(s): Laukkanen JA, Mkikallio TH, Rauramaa R, Kurl S
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Abstract AIMS: Silent electrocardiographic ST change predicts future coronary events in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), but the prognostic significance of asymptomatic ST-segment depression with respect to sudden cardiac death in subjects without apparent CHD is not well known. METHODS AND RESULTS: We investigated the association between silent ST-segment depression during and after maximal symptom-limited exercise test and the risk of sudden cardiac death in a population-based sample of 1769 men without evident CHD. A total of 72 sudden cardiac death occurred during the median follow-up of 18 years. The risk of sudden cardiac death was increased among men with asymptomatic ST-segment depression during exercise [hazard ratio (HR) 2.1, 95\% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-3.9] as well as among those with asymptomatic ST-segment depression during recovery period (HR 3.2, 95\% CI 1.7-6.0). Asymptomatic ST-depression during exercise testing was a stronger predictor for the risk of sudden cardiac death especially among smokers as well as in hypercholesterolaemic and hypertensive men than in men without these risk factors. CONCLUSION: Asymptomatic ST-segment depression was a very strong predictor of sudden cardiac death in men with any conventional risk factor but no previously diagnosed CHD, emphasizing the value of exercise testing to identify asymptomatic high-risk men who could benefit from preventive measures.
This article was published in Eur Heart J
and referenced in Advanced Techniques in Biology & Medicine