Prevalence of intraventricular block in the general population: the Framingham Study

Am Heart J. 1989 Apr;117(4):903-10. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(89)90630-3.


QRS intervals in the ECGs of members of the Framingham Heart Study cohort and offspring were measured to provide an estimate of the prevalence of intraventricular block in the general population. Intervals of greater than or equal to 0.09 second appear in men twice as commonly as in women, are rare before age 50 to 60, and shift from a predominance of right bundle branch block in the young to an indeterminate pattern in the elderly. Complete intraventricular block (QRS interval greater than or equal to 0.12 second) is seen in 11% of elderly men and 5% of elderly women. Aside from age and sex, logistic regression indicates strong associations with concurrent manifestations of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and atrioventricular block, as well as hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy, and ventricular extrasystoles. Among those subjects free of clinical coronary disease and congestive heart failure, associations between QRS interval and age, sex, atrioventricular block, and ECG left ventricular hypertrophy remain significant by multivariate analysis. Whether people with prolonged QRS intervals need special monitoring or attention cannot be told from these data.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Heart Block / diagnosis
  • Heart Block / epidemiology*
  • Heart Block / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors