Brugada Syndrome ECG Is Highly Prevalent in Schizophrenia

Marieke T. Blom, Dan Cohen, Adrie Seldenrijk, Brenda W. J. H. Penninx, Giel Nijpels, Coen D. A. Stehouwer, Jacqueline M. Dekker, Hanno L. Tan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The causes of increased risk of sudden cardiac death in schizophrenia are not resolved. We aimed to establish (1) whether ECG markers of sudden cardiac death risk, in particular Brugada-ECG pattern, are more prevalent among patients with schizophrenia, and (2) whether increased prevalence of these ECG markers in schizophrenia is explained by confounding factors, notably sodium channel-blocking medication. Methods and Results In a cross-sectional study, we analyzed ECGs of a cohort of 275 patients with schizophrenia, along with medication use. We determined whether Brugada-ECG was present and assessed standard ECG measures (heart rate, PQ-, QRS-, and QT-intervals). We compared the findings with nonschizophrenic individuals of comparable age (the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety [NESDA] cohort; N=179) and, to account for assumed increased aging rate in schizophrenia, with individuals 20 years older (Hoorn cohort; n=1168), using multivariate regression models. Brugada-ECG was significantly more prevalent in the schizophrenia cohort (11.6%) compared with NESDA controls (1.1%) or Hoorn controls (2.4%). Moreover, patients with schizophrenia had longer QT-intervals (410.9 versus 393.1 and 401.9 ms; both P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-391
JournalCirculation-Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Brugada Syndrome
  • electrocardiography
  • schizophrenia

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