Blood pressure-related electrocardiographic findings in healthy young individuals.

Hassing GJ, van der Wall HEC, van Westen GJP, Kemme MJB, Adiyaman A, Elvan A, Burggraaf J, Gal P

Elevated blood pressure induces electrocardiographic changes and is associated with an increase in cardiovascular disease later in life compared to normal blood pressure levels. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between normal to high normal blood pressure values (90-139/50-89 mmHg) and electrocardiographic parameters related to cardiac changes in hypertension in healthy young adults. Data from 1449 volunteers aged 18-30 years collected at our centre were analyzed. Only subjects considered healthy by a physician after review of collected data with systolic blood pressure values between 90 and 139 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure values between 50 and 89 mmHg were included. Subjects were divided into groups with 10 mmHg systolic blood pressure increment between groups for analysis of electrocardiographic differences. Backward multivariate regression analysis with systolic and diastolic blood pressure as a continuous variable was performed. The mean age was 22.7 ± 3.0 years, 73.7% were male. P-wave area, ventricular activation time, QRS-duration, Sokolow-Lyon voltages, Cornell Product, J-point-T-peak duration corrected for heart rate and maximum T-wave duration were significantly different between systolic blood pressure groups. In the multivariate model with gender, body mass index and cholesterol, ventricular rate (standardized coefficient (SC): +0.182,  < .001), ventricular activation time in lead V6 (SC= +0.065,  = .048), Sokolow-Lyon voltage (SC= +0.135,  < .001), and Cornell product (SC= +0.137,  < .001) were independently associated with systolic blood pressure, while ventricular rate (SC= +0.179,  < .001), P-wave area in lead V1 (SC= +0.079,  = .020), and Cornell product (SC= +0.091,  = .006) were independently associated with diastolic blood pressure. Blood pressure-related electrocardiographic changes were observed incrementally in a healthy young population with blood pressure in the normal range. These changes were an increased ventricular rate, increased atrial surface area, ventricular activation time and increased ventricular hypertrophy indices on a standard 12 lead electrocardiogram.