Cardiac mortality of premature ventricular complexes in healthy people in Japan

Division of Community and Family Medicine, Jichi Medical University School of Medicine, Shimotsuke, Japan.
Journal of Cardiology (Impact Factor: 2.78). 02/2010; 56(1):23-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2010.01.005
Source: PubMed


Premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) are frequently encountered in healthy people. But the association between PVCs and cardiac events is not well established in Japan. We investigated the association of PVCs and cardiac deaths in people without cardiovascular disease in the Jichi Medical School (JMS) Cohort study.
We conducted a prospective cohort study in 12 districts in Japan as part of the JMS cohort study. Baseline data were obtained between April 1992 and July 1995. We excluded subjects who had myocardial infarction and stroke and those who had not received 12-lead electrocardiograms. Cox's proportional hazard model was used to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs) of cardiovascular mortality of subjects with PVCs, using subjects without PVCs as reference.
A total of 11,158 participants (4333 males and 6825 females) were analyzed. Participants were followed for an average of 11.9 years. PVCs were present in 1.4% of men and 1.1% of women. There were 92 cardiac deaths (47 males and 45 females) during the follow-up period. In crude cardiovascular mortality, HRs (95% confidence interval [CI]) were 5.29 (1.64-17.0) in males and 2.14 (0.29-15.5) in females. Age-adjusted HRs were 3.73 (1.16-12.0) and 0.98 (0.13-7.21), respectively. After further adjustment for body mass index, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol level, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and blood glucose, HRs were 3.98 (1.21-13.0) and 0.95 (0.13-7.11), respectively.
We conclude that PVCs are a predictive factor for cardiac death in men without structural heart disease.

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    • "However, the severity of PVCs in people with a normal heart is controversial [10] [11]. Some studies point out that PVCs can lead to ischemic heart disease and sudden cardiac death in apparently healthy subjects [10] [11] [12]. In an elegant metaanalysis , Lee and collaborators [13] discuss the prognostic relevance of PVCs in apparently healthy adult subjects. "
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    ABSTRACT: Meta-analysis and systematic review to determine the long-term prognostic significance of premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) in adults without clinically apparent heart disease. Relevant studies were searched on MEDLINE and EMBASE. Inclusion criteria: controlled studies on adults without clinically apparent heart disease comparing the prognosis of the presence against the absence of PVCs. Endpoints: all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, sudden cardiac death or development of ischaemic heart disease. OR of endpoints were analysed with random effects model. Relationships between study outcomes and study characteristics were assessed by meta-regression and sensitivity analysis. Eight studies satisfied the inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis shows that in adults without clinically apparent heart disease, PVCs on ECG recording are associated with a pooled OR of 1.72 (95% CI 1.28 to 2.31) of endpoints compared with those without PVCs. However, only one study used echocardiogram or stress test to rule out heart disease. Meta-regression identified mean sample age (p=0.001), diabetes (p=0.005) and hypertension (p=0.005) as predictors of events. Only studies that used 100% male, not 100% female or mixed gender, found increased events. Most studies on PVC prognosis in 'normal hearts' did not use advanced tests to rule out structural heart disease. Among these patients, PVCs are associated with a worse cardiovascular outcome if patients are older and have higher cardiovascular risk, suggesting that the poor prognosis studies may have inadvertently included patients with occult structural heart disease, the population in which PVCs are known to confer adverse outcomes.
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    ABSTRACT: Although previous studies have shown that frequent ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) in patients with established heart disease are associated with increased risk of cardiac mortality, the significance of VPCs in general populations is unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the association between VPCs and risk of sudden cardiac death or total cardiac death in general populations by conducting a meta-analysis of published research. The electronic databases MEDLINE and Embase were searched for relevant studies. Data were abstracted using standardized forms. Study-specific relative risk estimates were pooled using a random-effects meta-analysis model. Eleven studies comprising a total of 106,195 participants sampled from general populations were included. Studies generally defined frequent VPCs as occurring ≥1 time during a standard electrocardiographic recording or ≥30 times over a 1-hour recording. The prevalence of frequent VPCs in the studies ranged from 1.2% to 10.7%. The overall adjusted relative risk for sudden cardiac death comparing participants with frequent VPCs versus those without frequent VPCs was 2.64 (95% confidence interval 1.93 to 3.63). The corresponding value for total cardiac death was 2.07 (95% confidence interval 1.71 to 2.50). Although most studies made attempts to exclude high-risk subjects, such as those with histories of cardiovascular disease, they did not test participants for underlying structural heart disease. In conclusion, findings from observational studies in general populations indicate that frequent VPCs are associated with a substantial increase in the risk for sudden cardiac death and total cardiac death. Further study is needed to determine the role of confounding and underlying structural heart disease in the observed association and its utility in cardiovascular risk prediction.
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