Distinct role of electrocardiographic criteria in echocardiographic diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy according to age, in the general population: the Ikaria Study

J Hypertens. 2011 Aug;29(8):1624-32. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e3283487780.


Objective: The age-dependent performance of electrocardiographic (ECG) criteria was examined for left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) prediction.

Methods: During 2009, 570 middle-aged (54 ± 7 years, 45% men) and 507 elderly (75 ± 6 years, 45% men) inhabitants of the Ikaria Island were studied. Seven ECG criteria were calculated (Sokolow-Lyon voltage and product, sex-specific Cornell voltage and product, Gubner-Ungerleider voltage, Lewis voltage and Framingham), whereas LVH was defined as left ventricular mass indexed for body surface area (BSA) at least 125 g/m in men and at least 110 g/m in women or left ventricular mass indexed for height 49 g/m or more in men and 45 g/m or more in women.

Results: The Framingham criteria had in hierarchical order the highest, although insignificant, sensitivity among the elderly individuals, either when LVH was indexed for BSA or for height (18.4 and 16.7%, respectively). Cornell voltage and product criteria had hierarchically the highest sensitivity among middle-aged participants, either when LVH was indexed for BSA (19.0 and 23.8%, respectively) or for height (17.2 and 20.3%, respectively). In the multiadjusted analysis applied in elderly participants, Cornell voltage, its product and Framingham criteria were associated with echocardiographic detection of LVH (indexed for BSA); however, when LVH was indexed for height, the Sokolow-Lyon and Framingham criteria were associated with LVH detection. In contrast, among middle-aged individuals, the Cornell product was the only ECG criterion that was associated with LVH detection (irrespective of indexation).

Conclusion: Age should be taken into consideration in selection of appropriate ECG criteria for LVH detection. Indexation of left ventricular mass differentiates the diagnostic ability of ECG criteria, especially in older patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Echocardiography*
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / epidemiology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / physiopathology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity