Higher Prevalence of Abnormal Electrocardigrams (ECG) in African Americans Undergoing Screening ECG and Echocardiography

Mohammad R Movahed, Sudhakar Sattur, Sharon Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: African American (AA) has higher prevalence of abnormal electrocardigrams (ECG) in general population. However, the degree of these abnormalities in a healthy population undergoing screening echocardiography is not known. The goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of ECG abnormalities reported during screening echocardiography based on race. METHOD: The Anthony Bates Foundation has been performing screening across the United States for the prevention of sudden death since 2001. We evaluated a total of 633 participants with documented race and ECG for the presence of any abnormalities. RESULTS: The age of the study population ranged between 6 and 75 years old. The prevalence of abnormal ECG in AA participant was 20.7% (12/58) versus 6.6% (38/578) in other races [odds ratio (OR), 3.70; confidence interval (CI), 1.8-7.58; P < 0.001]. Using multivariate analysis adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, left ventricular hypertrophy, and hypertension (systolic blood pressure >140 and diastolic blood pressure of >90), AA race remained independently associated with abnormal ECG (OR, 2.58; CI, 1.12-5.97; P = 0.02). Limiting our study only to teenagers (age, 13-19 years), AA race remained significantly associated with higher prevalence of ECG abnormalities [23.1% (12/58) of teenage AA had abnormal ECG vs. 7.5% (24/321) of other teenage races; OR, 3.71; CI, 1.36-10.11; P = 0.006]. After excluding benign ECG abnormalities such as sinus bradycardia and early repolarization, AA race remained significantly associated with higher prevalence of abnormal ECG (16.7% vs. 7.3%; OR, 2.52; CI, 0.998-6.39; P = 0.054). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of abnormal ECG is higher in AA race independent of echocardiographic abnormalities or demographics. However, some of these abnormalities appear to be related to sinus bradycardia and early repolarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-88
Number of pages3
JournalCritical pathways in cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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