The electrocardiogram is a simple and useful clinical tool; nevertheless, few studies have evaluated the prevalence of electrocardiographic abnormalities in the Latin American population. This study aims to evaluate the major electrocardiographic abnormalities according to the Minnesota coding system in Brazilian adults, stratified by gender, age, race, and cardiovascular risk factors. Data from 14,424 adults (45.8% men, age 35 to 74 years) were obtained at baseline of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil), according to standardized protocol. The electrocardiogram were obtained with the Burdick Atria 6100 machine, stored on Pyramis System, automatically coded according to the Minnesota coding system by the Glasgow University software and then manually revised. Major abnormalities were more prevalent in men than women (11.3% and 7.9%, p <0.001). These differences were consistent through the different age groups, race, and number of cardiovascular risk factors. Electrocardiographic major abnormalities were more prevalent in black participants for both men (black: 15.1%, mixed: 10.4%, white: 11.1%, p = 0.001) and women (black: 10%, mixed: 7.6%, white: 7.2%, p = 0.004). In conclusion, in this large sample of Brazilian adults, the prevalence of major electrocardiographic abnormalities was higher among men, the elderly, black, and among people with more cardiovascular risk factors.
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