OBJECTIVE - Heart rate-corrected QT (QTc) interval is associated with mortality in the general population, but this association is less clear in individuals with type 2 diabetes. We assessed the association of QTc interval with all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in the Diabetes Heart Study.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We studied 1,020 participants with type 2 diabetes (83% European Americans; 55% women; mean age 61.4 years) who were free of atrial fibrillation, major ventricular conduction defects, and antiarrhythmic therapy at baseline. QT duration was automatically calculated from a standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG). Following American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation recommendations, a linear scale was used to correct the QT for heart rate. Using Cox regression, risk was estimated per 1-SD increase in QTc interval as well as prolonged QTc interval (>450 ms) vs. normal QTc interval for mortality.
RESULTS - At baseline, the mean (SD) QTc duration was 414.9 ms (18.1), and 3.0% of participants had prolonged QTc. After a median follow-up time of 8.5 years (maximum follow-up time 13.9 years), 204 participants were deceased. In adjusted multivariate models, a 1-SD increase in QTc interval was associated with an 18% higher risk for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 1.18 [95% CI 1.03-1.36]) and 29% increased risk for CVD mortality (1.29 [1.05-1.59]). Similar results were obtained when QTc interval was used as a categorical variable (prolonged vs. normal) (all-cause mortality 1.73 [0.95-3.15]; CVD mortality 2.86 [1.35-6.08]).
CONCLUSIONS - Heart rate QTc interval is an independent predictor of all-cause and CVD mortality in this population with type 2 diabetes, suggesting that additional prognostic information may be available from this simple ECG measure.