The association of spatial T wave axis deviation with incident coronary events. The ARIC study

Georgeta D. Vaidean, Pentti M. Rautaharju, Ronald J. Prineas, Eric A. Whitsel, Lloyd E. Chambless, Aaron R. Folsom, Wayne D. Rosamond, Zhu Ming Zhang, Richard S. Crow, Gerardo Heiss

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Background. Although current evidence suggests that the spatial T wave axis captures important information about ventricular repolarization abnormalities, there are only a few and discordant epidemiologic studies addressing the ability of the spatial T wave axis to predict coronary heart disease (CHD) occurrence. Methods. This prospective study analyzed data from 12,256 middle-aged African American and white men and women, from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC). Following a standardized protocol, resting standard 12-lead, 10-second electrocardiograms were digitized and analyzed with the Marquette GE program. The median follow-up time was 12.1 years; incident coronary heart disease comprised fatal and non-fatal CHD events. Results. The incidence rate of CHD was 4.26, 4.18, 4.28 and 5.62 per 1000 person-years respectively, across the spatial T wave axis quartiles. Among women for every 10 degrees increase in the spatial T wave axis deviation, there was an estimated increase in the risk of CHD of 1.16 (95% CI 1.04-1.28). After adjustment for age, height, weight, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, QRS axis and minor T wave abnormalities, this hazard rate ratio for women fell to 1.03 (0.92-1.14). The corresponding crude and adjusted hazard ratios for men were 1.05 (95% CI 0.96-1.15) and 0.95 (0.86-1.04) respectively. Conclusions. In conclusion, this prospective, population-based, bi-ethnic study of men and women free of coronary heart disease at baseline shows that spatial T wave axis deviation is not associated with incident coronary events during long-term follow up. It is doubtful that spatial T wave axis deviation would add benefit in the prediction of CHD events above and beyond the current traditional risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 11 2005


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