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J Contemp Med. 2013; 3(3): 155-160

Cardiac arrhythmias in adults with hypertension in a resource-constraint setting

Olusegun Adesola Busari, Timothy Olusegun Olarewaju, Rotimi Oluyombo, Emmanuel Olaleye Olalekan.

Introduction: Hypertension is a common disease globally and it is of public health significance. The objective was to determine the prevalence and pattern of arrhythmias and the associated factors in adults with systemic hypertension in a tertiary hospital in a resource-constraint setting.
Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study which included the resting 12-lead electrocardiograms of adult patients aged 18 years and above with hypertension attending the Cardiology Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria.
Results: Resting electrocardiogram of 602 adult Nigerians with hypertension were studied. 340 (56.5%) were males and 262 (43.5%) females. The mean age of the patients was 58.3±10.7 years. Ninety eight (16.3%) patients had arrhythmia. Compared with those without arrhythmia, patients with arrhythmia were older (62.3±12.8 vs. 56.1±13.2, p =0.03 ), had a higher prevalence of QTc prolongation (14.3% vs. 6.0%, p = 0.041) and left ventricular hypertrophy (24.5% vs 12.7%, p = 0.026), and more likely to be in heart failure (32.7% vs. 8.5%, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The study shows a prevalence of 16.3% of arrhythmia among adult Nigerians with hypertension. Premature ventricular complex and atrial fibrillation are the most frequent arrhythmias. Older age, higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure and left ventricular hypertrophy and QTc prolongation are associated with arrhythmia.

Key words: Hypertension, arrhythmias, resting electrocardiogram, resource-constraint setting

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