Sahel Medical Journal

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Electrocardiographic indices in a rural pregnant Nigerian women population.

AI Salisu, KM Karaye


Background: The aim of the present study was to assess the resting electrocardiograms (ECG) in apparently healthy pregnant women in a Northern Nigerian rural settlement, and to compare with a control group comprising of non – pregnant women in their reproductive ages.
Methods: Electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings at rest of 238 women in their reproductive ages, comprising of 123 pregnant subjects and 115 non- pregnant controls were obtained. The study was cross-sectional in design and carried out at Kura Comprehensive Health Center, Kura Local Government in Kano State, Nigeria.
Results: Significant differences in some of the electrocardiogram (ECG) variables and baseline characteristics were observed when the pregnant subjects were compared with the controls: lower systolic blood pressure (115.20± 8.13 Vs 120.43±9.02 mmHg), diastolic blood pressure (73.65±9.24 vs 80.44±4.85mmHg), QRS duration (71.87±13.99 vs 78.61±13.71ms), and P-wave, mean QRS T-wave axes (p<0.05). In addition, QRS duration was significantly reduced as pregnancy advanced from 2nd to 3rd trimester (75.8ms vs 69.7ms; p=0.015).
Conclusions: Several differences were identified when the resting electrocardiogram of pregnant women were compared with non-pregnant controls. These findings should be taken into consideration in
the interpretation of electrocardiogram of pregnant women in Nigeria.
AJOL African Journals Online