Electrocardiogram abnormalities and cardiovascular mortality in elderly patients with CKD

Mirela Dobre, Andrei Brateanu, Arash Rashidi, Mahboob Rahman
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology: CJASN 2012, 7 (6): 949-56

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in CKD. This study evaluated whether electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities are predictors of cardiovascular death in CKD.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: The Cardiovascular Health Study limited database (1989-2005) was used to identify a cohort with CKD at baseline (estimated GFR < 60 mL/min per 1.73 m(2)). The patients were categorized as having major, minor, or no ECG abnormalities. Rates of adjudicated cardiovascular events and mortality were compared among the groups using proportional hazards regression models.

RESULTS: A total of 1192 participants had CKD at baseline; mean age ± SD was 74.7±6.2 years. Of these patients, 452 (38.8%) had major, 346 (29.7%) had minor, and 367 (31.5%) had no ECG abnormalities. Participants with estimated GFR < 60 mL/min per 1.73 m(2) were more likely to have ECG abnormalities at baseline (adjusted prevalence odds ratio, 1.23 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06-1.43]) than those with GFR ≥ 60 mL/min per 1.73 m(2). During mean follow-up of 10.3±3.8 years, 814 (68.3%) participants died. Compared with participants without ECG abnormalities, participants with major abnormalities had the highest risk for cardiovascular events and death; adjusted hazard ratios were 2.15 (95% CI, 1.56-2.98) and 2.27 (95% CI, 1.56-3.30), respectively. For minor ECG abnormalities, hazard ratios were 1.24 (95% CI, 0.91-1.70) and 1.48 (95% CI, 1.00-2.18), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with CKD, major ECG abnormalities are frequently present and predict a significantly higher risk for death and adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

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