Cardiovascular diseases are the main causes of mortality. Sudden cardiac death may also appear in athletes, due to underlying congenital or inherited cardiac abnormalities. The electrocardiogram is used in clinical practice and clinical trials, as a valid, reliable, accessible, inexpensive method. The aim of the present paper was to review electrocardiographic (ECG) signs associated with cardiovascular mortality and the mechanisms underlying those associations, providing a brief description of the main studies in this area, and consider their implication for clinical practice in the general population and athletes. The main ECG parameters associated with cardiovascular mortality in the present paper are the P wave (duration, interatrial block, and deep terminal negativity of the P wave in V1), prolonged QT and Tpeak-Tend intervals, QRS duration and fragmentation, bundle branch block, ST segment depression and elevation, T waves (inverted, T wave axes), spatial angles between QRS and T vectors, premature ventricular contractions, and ECG hypertrophy criteria.