Author + information
- Received November 21, 1994
- Revision received June 29, 1995
- Accepted July 13, 1995
- Published online December 1, 1995.
- Wojciech Zareba, MD, PhDa,*,
- Arthur J. Moss, MD, FACCa,
- Saskia le Cessie, PhDa,
- Emanuela H. Locati, MD, PhD*,
- Jennifer L. Robinson, MSa,
- W. Jackson Hall, PhDa and
- Mark L. Andrews, BSa
- ↵*Address for correspondence: Dr. Wojciech Zareba, Heart Research Follow-up Program, University of Rochester Medical Center, Box 653, Rochester, New York 14642.
Objectives. This study sought to identify risk factors for cardiac events (syncope, aborted cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death) in family members of patients with the long QT syndrome.
Background. Patients with the long QT syndrome are known to be at high risk for cardiac events. Whenever the first member of a family is identified as having the long QT syndrome (proband), there is concern regarding the likelihood of cardiac events in other family members.
Methods. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to evaluate the risk of cardiac events in 637 family members who were first- and second-degree relatives of 151 probands with the long QT syndrome and in a subset of 513 family members who were not receiving beta-adrenergic blocking agents. There were 293 first-degree (46%) and 344 second-degree relatives (54%) (293 men [46%], 344 women [54%]). Fifty percent of the family members had a corrected QT interval (QTc) >0.44 s, and relative tachycardia and bradycardia were observed in 12% and 25%, respectively.
Results. The risk of cardiac events occurring before age 40 in family members not taking beta-blockers was influenced by the QTc interval (odds ratio [OR] 1.18/0.01 increase in QTc value; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12 to 1.24), relative tachycardia (OR 2.21, 95% CI 0.97 to 5.02) or bradycardia (OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.10 to 4.56) and an interaction term combining gender and closeness of the relationship to the proband (OR for female first-degree relative 3.23 vs. all second-degree relatives, 95% CI 1.67–6.22).
Conclusions. Female first-degree relatives of patients with the long QT syndrome have a higher risk of cardiac events than male first- or second-degree relatives, independent of recorded electrocardiographic findings. Not only bradycardia, but also tachycardia increases risk of cardiac events in family members of patients with the long QT syndrome.
This study was supported in part by Grant HL 33843 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. le Cessie was supported by a NATO Science Fellowship, The Hague, The Netherlands.
- Received November 21, 1994.
- Revision received June 29, 1995.
- Accepted July 13, 1995.
- American College of Cardiology