Background: Despite advances in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, sudden cardiac death (SCD) remains a clinical challenge. Risk stratification in the general population is needed. Methods and Results-Beat-to-beat spatiotemporal variability in the T vector was measured as the mean angle between consecutive T-wave vectors (mean TT' angle) on standard 12-lead ECGs in 14 024 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Subjects with left ventricular hypertrophy, atrial arrhythmias, frequent ectopy, ventricular pacing, or QRS duration ≥120 ms were excluded. The mean spatial TT' angle was 5.21±3.55°. During a median of 14 years of follow-up, 235 SCDs occurred (1.24 per 1000 person-years). After adjustment for demographics, coronary heart disease risk factors, and known ECG markers for SCD, mean TT' angle was independently associated with SCD (hazard ratio 1.089; 95% CI 1.044 to 1.137; P<0.0001). A mean TT' angle >90th percentile (>9.57°) was associated with a 2-fold increase in the hazard for SCD (hazard ratio 2.01; 95% CI 1.28 to 3.16; P=0.002). In a subgroup of patients with T-vector amplitude =0.2 mV, the association with SCD was almost twice as strong (hazard ratio 3.92; 95% CI 1.91 to 8.05; P<0.0001). A significant interaction between mean TT' angle and age was found: TT' angle was associated with SCD in participants aged <55 years (hazard ratio 1.096; 95% CI 0.043 to 1.152; P<0.0001) but not in participants aged ≥55 years (Pinteraction=0.009). Conclusions-In a large, prospective, community-based cohort of left ventricular hypertrophy-free participants, increased beat-tobeat spatiotemporal variability in the T vector, as assessed by increasing TT' angle, was associated with SCD.
- Sudden cardiac death
- TT' angle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine