Background: The significance of minor isolated Q waves in the resting electrocardiograms (ECGs) of apparently healthy individuals is unknown. Objective: To examine the association between minor isolated Q waves and incident cardiovascular disease events in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Design: This analysis included 6551 MESA participants (38% white, 28% black, 22% Hispanic, 12% Chinese) who were free of cardiovascular disease at enrollment. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association between minor isolated Q waves defined by the Minnesota ECG Classification with adjudicated incident cardiovascular events. Results: During up to 7.8 years of follow-up, 423 events occurred, with a rate of 10.7 events per 1000 person-years. A significant interaction between minor isolated Q waves and race/ethnicity was observed (P =.030). In models stratified by race/ethnicity and adjusted for demographics, socioeconomic status, common cardiovascular risk factors, and other ECG abnormalities, presence of isolated minor Q waves was significantly associated with incident cardiovascular events in Hispanics (hazard ratio [HR] 2.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.42-4.82), but not in whites (HR 0.65; 95% CI, 0.32-1.33) or blacks (HR 1.46; 95% CI, 0.74-2.89). Despite the statistically significant association in the Chinese population, the small number of events precluded solid conclusions in this race/ethnicity. Conclusion: The prognostic significance of minor isolated Q waves varies across races/ethnicities; they carry a high risk for future cardiovascular events in apparently healthy Hispanics, but not in whites or blacks.
- Minor isolated Q waves