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n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Prevalence and significance of early repolarisation in a black African population : data of 246 individuals with cardiovascular morbidity : cardiovascular topic
Background : Early repolarisation (ER) is commonly seen on electrocardiograms (ECG). Recent reports have described the relationship between ER and sudden cardiac death (SCD). The prevalence and significance of ER have not been studied in black Africans.
Methods : We matched clinical and ECG records of subjects over 18 years of age who consulted a cardiac unit in two medical centres of Douala, Cameroon. A questionnaire focusing on past history of syncope or family history of sudden unexplained death (SUD) was filled in by each subject. A 12-lead ECG was recorded by a trained nurse and analysed by two independent physicians.
Results : Of the 752 ECGs recorded, we studied 246 index cases. The mean age of subjects was 45 ± 16 years and 53% were female. Almost 57% had hypertension, 41% had palpitations and 18% reported a history of syncope. ER pattern was found in 20% [slurring in three (3%), notching in 13% and both in three (7%)]. ER subjects were younger than those without (41 ± 16 vs 49 ± 16 years, p = 0.0048). Lead localisation was predominantly the laterals for the slurring pattern, whereas the inferior and lateral leads were equally involved for the notching pattern. Negative T waves in the infero-lateral leads were associated with ER (p = 0.00025). Among the subjects with syncope, 41% displayed ER and 13% did not have ER (p = 0.00014). The notching pattern seemed to be associated with syncope (p = 0.00011).
Conclusion : Early repolarisation is frequent in black Africans, especially in the setting of cardiovascular morbidity. Early repolarisation may be associated with a past history of syncope, especially the notched pattern.
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