Early repolarization pattern in adult females with eating disorders

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INTRODUCTION: The risk of cardiovascular death is increased in patients with eating disorders (ED), but the background for this is unknown. Early repolarization pattern (ERP) on the electrocardiogram (ECG) has been associated with increased risk of sudden cardiac death.

METHODS: We investigated the prevalence of ERP in 233 female patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) (age 18-35 years) compared with 123 healthy female controls.

RESULTS: Early repolarization pattern was present in 52 (22%) of ED patients (16 (15%) AN patients and 36 (29%) BN patients) and 17 (14%) of healthy controls. When adjusting for age, BMI, heart rate, use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), and potassium level, the odds ratio (OR) for ERP was 2.1 (95% CI 1.1-4.2, p = .03). There was an increased prevalence of inferolateral ERP in patients with ED compared with healthy controls (OR = 4.3, 95% CI 1.7-11.3, p = .003) as well as ERP with a downward/horizontal sloping ST segment (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.3-7.6, p = .01). Additionally, J-point elevation >0.2 mV was more prevalent in patients with ED (OR = 3.3, 95% CI 1.1-9.7, p = .03).

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of ERP was increased in patients with ED compared with healthy controls. This finding may provide a possible explanation for the increased cardiovascular mortality in ED patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12865
JournalAnnals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

    Research areas

  • early repolarization pattern, eating disorders, electrocardiogram (ECG)

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