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20-05-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 10/2019 Open Access

Netherlands Heart Journal 10/2019

Body mass index related electrocardiographic findings in healthy young individuals with a normal body mass index

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 10/2019
G. J. Hassing, H. E. C. van der Wall, G. J. P. van Westen, M. J. B. Kemme, A. Adiyaman, A. Elvan, J. Burggraaf, P. Gal



An increased body mass index (BMI) (>25 kg/m2) is associated with a wide range of electrocardiographic changes. However, the association between electrocardiographic changes and BMI in healthy young individuals with a normal BMI (18.5–25 kg/m2) is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between BMI and electrocardiographic parameters.


Data from 1,290 volunteers aged 18 to 30 years collected at our centre were analysed. Only subjects considered healthy by a physician after review of collected data with a normal BMI and in sinus rhythm were included in the analysis. Subjects with a normal BMI (18.5–25 kg/m2) were divided into BMI quartiles analysis and a backward multivariate regression analysis with a normal BMI as a continuous variable was performed.


Mean age was 22.7 ± 3.0 years, mean BMI was 22.0, and 73.4% were male. There were significant differences between the BMI quartiles in terms of maximum P-wave duration, P-wave balance, total P-wave area in lead V1, PR-interval duration, and heart axis. In the multivariate model maximum P-wave duration (standardised coefficient (SC) = +0.112, P < 0.001), P-wave balance in lead V1 (SC = +0.072, P < 0.001), heart axis (SC = −0.164, P < 0.001), and Sokolow-Lyon voltage (SC = −0.097, P < 0.001) were independently associated with BMI.


Increased BMI was related with discrete electrocardiographic alterations including an increased P-wave duration, increased P-wave balance, a leftward shift of the heart axis, and decreased Sokolow-Lyon voltage on a standard twelve lead electrocardiogram in healthy young individuals with a normal BMI.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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