Electrocardiogram markers could improve Alzheimer’s risk prediction

  • A study of 172,236 primary care patients aged 60 years or older investigated whether common electrocardiogram (ECG) markers are associated with risk for Alzheimer’s disease over a median follow-up period of 7.5 years.
  • An increased PR interval (> 188 ms) and increased QTc interval were each associated with a significantly reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease, with hazard ratios (HRs) of 0.76 and 0.90, respectively. Conversely, a positive Sokolow-Lyon index of more than 35 mm and T-wave amplitude above 4.1 mm were associated with a significantly increased risk, at respective HRs of 1.22 and 1.15.
  • Adding ECG markers to a reference model significantly improved 10-year prediction of Alzheimer’s disease risk. The researchers estimated that the 10-year absolute risk for an 82-year-old woman was 6.5% with favorable ECG measurements and 12.0% with unfavorable measurements; the corresponding risks for an 82-year-old man were 5.2% and 9.2%.