Left ventricular hypertrophy by Sokolow-Lyon voltage criterion predicts mortality in overweight hypertensive subjects

R L Antikainen, T Grodzicki, D G Beevers, J Webster, J J Jokelainen, C J Bulpitt
Journal of Human Hypertension 2009, 23 (1): 20-6
In view of the low sensitivity of Sokolow-Lyon voltage criteria in the assessment of electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy (ECG LVH) in overweight subjects, we determined its clinical utility in 1840 lean and 3555 overweight subjects with hypertension. They were followed prospectively over an average of 11 years by the Department of Health and Social Security Hypertension Care Computer Project. LVH was determined at baseline using the Sokolow-Lyon criterion that is, the amplitude voltage SV1+(max RV5 or RV6) > or =3.5 mV. Overweight status was defined as body mass index (BMI) > or =25 kg m(-2). Prevalence of ECG LVH was 16% in lean and 12% in overweight women, 35 and 20% in lean and overweight men. For each 0.1 mV increase in ECG voltage as a continuous variable, the age and sex adjusted risk of stroke, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality increased significantly by 3.0, 1.5 and 1.8% in overweight subjects and by 2.8, 1.8 and 2.4% in lean subjects. After additional adjustments for smoking, blood glucose and serum cholesterol concentration in a subgroup of 654 lean and 1281 overweight subjects with complete information on these variables, an increasing voltage still significantly predicted stroke and CVD mortality in overweight subjects. The excess high risk of dying was evident especially in women with LVH in the highest BMI quartiles. When ECG detects LVH in overweight subjects, it is a good predictor of mortality despite the lower sensitivity in this group.

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