Introduction: Recent studies show that serum uric acid (SUA) is a predictor of atrial fibrillation, while its association with other kinds of arrhythmias is not yet established. We aimed to evaluate the incidence of the most common electrocardiographic alterations in a relatively large sample of general population and their association with SUA.
Materials and methods: We selected a Brisighella Heart Study cohort sample of 1557 subjects, consecutively visited in the 2004 and 2008 surveys, in a setting of primary prevention for cardiovascular disease and without a known diagnosis of arrhythmia or left ventricular hypertrophy, excluding subjects affected by gout or taking any antihyperuricemic agent or drugs able to interfere with the QT interval. A step-wise Cox regression analysis was used to determine the independent prognostic significance of age, gender, physical activity, smoking, body mass index (BMI), fasting plasma glucose, mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, SUA and eGFR on ECG alterations during a 4-year follow-up.
Results: No one of the considered variables was associated with the incident diagnosis of sinus tachycardia and sinus bradycardia. SUA predicted incident tachyarrhythmias, Q waves and ECG signs of left ventricular hypertrophy; age, female sex and active smoking predicted incident tachyarrhythmias; male sex, active smoking and LDL-cholesterol predicted incident ECG signs of previous myocardial infarction; BMI and MAP predicted incident ECG-diagnosed left ventricular hypertrophy.
Conclusion: In a cohort of general population, SUA seems to be a significant middle-term predictor of electrocardiographically diagnosed myocardial infarction, left ventricular hypertrophy and tachyarrhythmias.
Keywords: Arrhythmias; Electrocardiogram; Epidemiology; Serum uric acid.
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