United States National prevalence of electrocardiographic abnormalities in black and white middle-age (45- to 64-Year) and older (≥65-Year) adults (from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke Study)

Academic Article


  • A United States national sample of 20,962 participants (57% women, 44% blacks) from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study provided general population estimates for electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities among black and white men and women. The participants were recruited from 2003 to 2007 by random selection from a commercially available nationwide list, with oversampling of blacks and those from the stroke belt, with a cooperation rate of 49%. The measurement of risk factors and 12-lead electrocardiograms (centrally coded using Minnesota code criteria) showed 28% had ≥1 major ECG abnormality. The prevalence of abnormalities was greater (≥35%) for those ≥65 years old, with no differences between blacks and whites. However, among men <65 years, blacks had more major abnormalities than whites, most notably for atrial fibrillation, major Q waves, and left ventricular hypertrophy. Men generally had more ECG abnormalities than women. The most common ECG abnormalities were T-wave abnormalities. The average heart rate-corrected QT interval was longer in women than in men, similar in whites and blacks, and increased with age. However, the average heart rate was greater in women than in men and in blacks than in whites and decreased with age. The prevalence of ECG abnormalities was related to the presence of hypertension, diabetes, blood pressure, and age. In conclusion, black men and women in the United States have a significantly greater prevalence of ECG abnormalities than white men and women at age 45 to 64 years; however, these proportions, although larger, tended to equalize or reverse after age 65. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 11541485
  • Author List

  • Prineas RJ; Le A; Soliman EZ; Zhang ZM; Howard VJ; Ostchega Y; Howard G
  • Start Page

  • 1223
  • End Page

  • 1228
  • Volume

  • 109
  • Issue

  • 8