We aimed at investigating the association between T-wave axis deviation, metabolic syndrome (MetS), its components and estimated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at 10 years in an adult Italian population. 11,143 women (54 ± 11 years) and 9742 men (55 ± 11 years) were analyzed from the Moli-sani cohort, randomly recruited from the general population. MetS was defined using the ATPIII criteria. T-wave axis deviation was measured from the standard 12-lead resting electrocardiogram. CVD risk in ten years was estimated by the CUORE score. 29% of men and 27% of women with MetS showed borderline or abnormal T-wave as compared to 24% and 17% without MetS (p < 0.0001 for both genders). Among components of MetS, elevated waist and blood pressure were strongly associated with T-wave axis deviation, whereas glucose, HDL and triglycerides were only marginally. The odds of having borderline or abnormal T-wave axis deviation in multivariable regression analysis, was 1.38 (95% CI:1.25-1.53) in MetS men and 1.68 (95% CI:1.51-1.87) in MetS women compared to those without. Further adjustment for MetS components completely abolished the associations. Abnormal T-wave axis deviation was associated with an increased risk of CVD in 10 years in men (OR = 4.4; 95% CI:1.10-17.9). T-wave axis deviation is strongly associated with components of the MetS, in particular high waist circumference and blood pressure and with an increased CVD risk, particularly in men. ECG monitoring to identify T-wave axis deviation in obese, hypertensive or MetS subjects can be an early indicator of vascular disease and help in reducing cardiac events.
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