Cardiac Arrhythmias in Adult Patients with Asthma

MJ Warnier, FFH Rutten, Jan Kors, JWJ Lammers, A den Boer, AW Hoes, ML (Marie) de Bruin

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. The pathogenesis of cardiac arrhythmias in asthma patients has not been fully elucidated. Adverse drug effects, particularly those of beta 2-mimetics, may play a role. The aim of this study was to determine whether asthma is associated with the risk of cardiac arrhythmias and electrocardiographic characteristics of arrhythmogenicity (ECG) and to explore the role of beta 2-mimetics. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 158 adult patients with a diagnosis of asthma and 6303 participants without asthma from the cohort of the Utrecht Health Project-an ongoing, longitudinal, primary care-based study. All patients underwent extensive examinations, including resting 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and pulmonary function tests. The primary outcome was "any arrhythmia on the ECG" (including tachycardia, bradycardia, premature ventricular contraction (PVC), and atrial fibrillation or flutter). Secondary outcomes were tachycardia, bradycardia, PVC, atrial fibrillation or flutter, mean heart rate, mean corrected QT (QTc) interval length, and prolonged QTc interval. Results. Tachycardia and PVCs were more prevalent in patients with asthma (3% and 4%, respectively) than those without asthma (0.6%, p < .001; 2%, p = .03, respectively). The prevalence of QTc interval prolongation was similar in participants with (2%) and without asthma (3%, odds ratio [OR]: 0.6 and 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.2-2.0). In 74 asthma patients, who received beta 2-mimetics, tachycardia and PVCs were more common (OR: 12.4 [95% CI: 4.7-32.8] and 3.7 [95% CI: 1.3-10.5], respectively). Conclusions. The adult patients with asthma more commonly show tachycardia and PVCs on the ECG than those without asthma. The patients with asthma received beta 2-mimetics; the risk of tachycardia and PVCs is even more pronounced.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)942-946
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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