Introduction: The association between premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) remains controversial.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that PVCs are associated with SCD.
Methods: Presence of PVCs was detected on 12-lead ECG recorded at baseline or any of 4 follow-up visits in 15,667 participants (pts) (mean age: 54.2 + 5.8 Yrs; 55% female; 73% Whites) of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. For validation cohort, we included baseline and 9 follow-up visits ECG data in 5,846 pts (mean age: 72.8+ 5.6 yrs; 57.7% female, 84.2% whites) from Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). Competing risk analyses models were constructed to test the association between time-updated PVCs and SCD risk. Model 1 was adjusted for age, sex, race and study center. Model 2 in addition was adjusted for time-updated coronary heart disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and hypertension.
Results: In ARIC pts, across all study visits, PVCs were observed in 2.6% of the ECGs; 99.7% of pts were PVC-free at least once; 8.8% of pts had PVC at least once. 97.7% of pts without PVCs remained PVC-free at the next visit; 19.1% of pts with detected PVC had PVC at the next visit; 2.4% of pts who were PVC-free on previous ECG, transitioned to having PVC on subsequent visit ECG. In CHS, across all 10 yearly study visits, on average, PVC was observed on 4.85% of ECG recordings; 99.4% of participants were PVC-free at least once; 21.9% of pts had PVC at least once. 96.4% of PVC-free pts remained free from PVC at the next visit. 30.6% of pts with detected PVC on a given ECG had PVC at the next visit. 3.6% of pts who did not have PVC on previous ECG, transitioned to having PVC at the next visit. 69.4% of pts with PVC on a given ECG transitioned to being PVC-free next year. In adjusted competing risk analysis PVC was associated with SCD, but not with non-sudden cardiac death or non-cardiac death (Table).
Conclusions: Time-updated presence of PVC on a short 10-sec resting 12-lead ECG is associated with SCD.