Electrocardiogram as a screening tool in the general population: A strategic review

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    Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a major public health concern, accounting for 400,000 deaths in the US each year. Clinical and autopsy studies have consistently demonstrated a predominant, common pathophysiology in Western populations, showing that the most common electrophysiological mechanism of SCD is ventricular fibrillation, and the most common pathologic substrate is coronary heart disease (CHD). In about half of SCD cases, death is the first clinical manifestation of CHD. Yet risk factors of SCD early in the natural history of conditions predisposing SCD have not been fully identified, and SCD risk stratification strategy in the general population has not been developed. ECG is an easily available, non-expensive and non-invasive tool, which carries valuable information on electrophysiological properties of the heart. However, traditional analysis of ECG includes very limited assessment of the arrhythmogenic substrate. In this review rationale for development of ECG SCD risk score for screening in the general population is discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)553-556
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


    • Electrocardiogram
    • Risk stratification
    • Sudden cardiac death

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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