Journal Article

Prevalence, correlates, and mortality impacts of ventricular arrhythmia among older men and women: a population-based cohort study in Moscow

Shkolnikova, M. A., Ildarova, R. A., Jdanov, D. A., Shalnova, S. A., Shkolnikov, V. M.
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 21:80, 1–12 (2021)
Open Access


In Russia, cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality is high and the mortality gap between men and women is large. Conventional risk factors cannot explain these phenomena. Ventricular arrhythmia (VA) is an important contributor to the death toll in community-based populations. The study examines the prevalence and the mortality impacts of VA in men and women and the role of VA in the male mortality excess at older ages.
This is a secondary analysis of data from the Stress, Aging, and Health in Russia (SAHR) study that was fielded in 2007–9 in Moscow (1800 individuals, mean age 68.8 years), with mean mortality follow-up of 7.4 years (416 deaths, 248 CVD deaths). Indicators reflecting the frequency and the complexity of VA were derived from 24-h ambulatory ECG recordings. Other covariates were: socio-demographic characteristics, conventional risk factors, markers of inflammation, reported myocardial infarction, and stroke. The impacts of VA and other variables on CVD and all-cause mortality among men and women were estimated with the proportional hazard models. We assessed the contributions of VAs to the male–female mortality gap using hazard models that do and do not include groups of the predictors. Logistic models were used to assess the associations between VA and other biomarkers.
VAs were about twice as prevalent among men as among women. In both sexes, they were significantly associated with CVD and all-cause mortality independently of conventional risk factors. The highest hazard ratios (HRs) for CVD death were found for the runs of ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) HR = 2.45, 95% CI 1.63–3.68 for men and 2.75, 95% CI 1.18–6.40 for women. The mortality impacts of the polymorphic VPCs were significant among men only (HR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.08–2.07). VA indicators can potentially explain 12.3% and 9.1% of the male–female gaps in mortality from CVD and all causes, respectively. VAs were associated with ECG-registered ischemic problems and reported MI, particularly among men.
VA indicators predicted mortality in older Muscovites independently of other risk factors, and have the potential to explain a non-trivial share of the excess male mortality. The latter may be related to more severe coronary problems in men compared to women.

Keywords: Russian Federation, cardiovascular system
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.