To investigate the association of electrocardiographic (ECG) left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) with the incidence of new congestive heart failure (CHF) in older people.DESIGN:
In a prospective study of 2638 older people, ECGs were obtained at study entry, at 1 month after study entry, when clinically indicated, and at least yearly after study entry. ECG LVH was diagnosed if the point score of Romhilt and Estes was ≥5. Persistent LVH was diagnosed if all of the ECGs showed LVH. New LVH was diagnosed if the baseline ECG showed no LVH but LVH was present on the last ECG. Regression of LVH was diagnosed if the baseline ECG showed LVH but no LVH was present on the last ECG. No LVH was diagnosed if all of the ECGs showed no LVH. Persistent LVH, new LVH, regression of LVH, and no LVH were correlated with the incidence of new CHF at follow-up.SETTING:
A large long-term health care facility.PATIENTS:
The patients included 1805 women and 833 men, mean age 81 ± 9 years (range 60 to 103).MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
Of the 2,638 older persons studied, 281 (11%) had persistent ECG LVH, 31 (1%) had new ECG LVH, 12 (0.5%) had regression of ECG LVH, and 2314 (88%) had no ECG LVH. At 42 ± 24 months (range 1 to 154 months) follow-up, new CHF developed in 168 of 281 persons (60%) with persistent LVH, in 16 of 31 persons (52%) with new LVH, in 4 of 12 persons (33%) with regression of LVH, and in 507 of 2314 persons (22%) with no LVH. Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed that the development of new CHF was higher in persons with persistent LVH versus regression of LVH (P = .013), in persons with persistent LVH versus no LVH (P = .001), in persons with new LVH versus regression of LVH (P = .039), and in persons with new LVH versus no LVH (P = .001).CONCLUSION:
Older persons with persistent or new ECG LVH have a higher incidence of new CHF and an earlier time to the development of new CHF than older persons without ECG LVH.