Comparison of clinical and genetic variables of cardiac events associated with loud noise versus swimming among subjects with the long QT syndrome

Am J Cardiol. 1999 Oct 15;84(8):876-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(99)00458-0.


Acute auditory stimuli and swimming activities are frequently associated with syncope, aborted cardiac arrest, and death in the long QT syndrome (LQTS). We investigated the clinical and genetic findings associated with cardiac events precipitated by these arousal factors. The study population involved 195 patients with an index cardiac event associated with a loud noise (n = 77) or swimming activity (n = 118). Patients with events associated with loud auditory stimuli were older at their index event and were more likely to be women than patients who experienced events during swimming-related activities. Patients with an index event associated with loud noise were likely to have subsequent events related to auditory stimuli; patients with an index event associated with swimming were likely to have recurrent events related to swimming or physical activities. Family patterning of auditory and swimming and/or physical activity-related events was evident. Genotype analyses in 25 patients revealed a significant difference in the distribution of index cardiac events by genotype (p <0.001), with all 19 patients with swimming-related episodes associated with LQT1 genotype and 5 of 6 patients with auditory-related events associated with LQT2 genotype. The clinical profile and genotype findings of patients with LQTS who experience cardiac events related to acute auditory stimuli are quite different from those who experience events accompanying swimming activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / adverse effects*
  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Heart Arrest / etiology
  • Humans
  • Long QT Syndrome / complications*
  • Long QT Syndrome / genetics*
  • Long QT Syndrome / mortality
  • Long QT Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Swimming*
  • Syncope / etiology