Study of electrocardiographic patterns in clinically normal persons above sixty years of age
Keywords:ECG, Old age, P-R interval, QTC duration
Background: The study was done to analyse the electrocardiographic patterns in the asymptomatic and clinically normal subjects over the age of sixty years and also to compare and discuss the significant of electrocardiographic changes noted in these persons with earlier observations quoted in the literature.
Methods: The study was carried out during a period of one year and a total 283 persons were examined 33 persons who were not fulfilling the criteria mentioned were excluded. Thus 250 clinically normal persons above the age of 60 years comprised the study group.
Results: 30% of males had a vertical heart while in females the predominant position was Intermediate (36%). 15.87% males and 19.35% females showed an anticlockwise rotation and majority of the subjects showed a normal position of the heart. Only 3 males and 4 females showed abnormal left axis deviation and 3 males and 1 female exhibited right axis deviation. Small P wave were observed in 5 males (3.96%) and 4 females (3.22%) while tall P waves were noted in 6 males (4.67%) and 2 females (1.61%). None of the subjects exhibited P-R interval less than 0.12 sec. More than 0.20 sec. was noted in 3 males. In a total of 76 persons (30.40%) QTC was prolonged, 42 were males (33.33%) and 34 females (26.77%).
Conclusions: Parameters such as position of the heart (rotation, P wave duration and amplitude, P-R interval and QRS duration etc) were within defined normal limits, except the prolongation of QTC observed in 30.40% of persons. A negative history and clinical examination of an old person is a fair indication of his normal cardiovascular status and slight deviation of an electrocardiogram need not arouse any undue anxiety either in the physician or the patient.
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