Is QT interval a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis in nondiabetic subjects? The Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS).Stroke. 1999 Aug; 30(8):1566-71.S
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
We studied the relationship of heart rate-corrected QT interval with subclinical atherosclerosis, as determined by ultrasonographic measurement of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in nondiabetic subjects in the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS). Prolonged heart rate-corrected QT interval is an unfavorable prognostic factor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and QT interval prolongation may be the result of atherosclerosis.
B-mode ultrasound imaging of the carotid artery IMT was performed in a large, triethnic, nondiabetic population free of clinical coronary artery disease (n=912). QT interval was measured on resting electrocardiograms with use of a computer program and corrected for heart rate with standard equations.
IMT of the common carotid artery correlated significantly with heart rate-corrected QT interval duration (r=0.15 for QT(60) and r=0.14 for QTc), whereas no relationship between IMT of the internal carotid artery and QT interval was found (r=-0.01). The association was somewhat stronger in women than in men. In a multiple regression analysis adjusting for demographic variables, the association of common carotid artery IMT to heart rate-corrected QT interval remained highly significant, but adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors weakened the relationship.
We found a significant relation of heart rate-corrected QT interval to carotid atherosclerosis in nondiabetic subjects that was stronger in women and partly mediated by cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension. QT interval may therefore serve as a marker for clinically undetected ("subclinical") atherosclerotic disease.