Cardiac Arrhythmias in Recently Diagnosed Hypertensive Patients at First Presentation an Electrocardiographic-Based Study
Various forms of cardiac arrhythmias have been documented in hypertensive subjects, and hypertension is an important risk factor for the development of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. Electrocardiography at rest easily documents significant arrhythmias in patients, and this study was carried out to determine the types and frequency of arrhythmias in hypertensive subjects at first presentation in the Hypertension Clinics of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu, Nigeria. The study was hospitalbased and retrospective in nature. The resting 12lead ECG reports of 346 consecutive hypertensive subjects seen at the Hypertension clinics of the UNTH Enugu over a 14 month period were retrieved from the case files and studied. Other information obtained from the case files included the age and gender of the subjects. The mean age of the subjects was 57.3years. Ninety-five of the subjects had arrhythmias representing 27% of the study population, out of which fifty-five were males (57.9%) and forty were females (42.1%). However 26.9% of all the male subjects had arrhythmias while 28.2% of all the females had arrhythmias. Multiple ventricular ectopics, sinus tachycardia, sinus bradycardia and atrial fibrillation were the most prevalent arrhythmias. This study showed that a significant proportion of hypertensive subjects present initially with significant rhythm disturbances.
Keywords: Arrhythmia, Hypertension, 1st Presentation, ECG