Obesity and risk of LVH and ECG abnormalities in US firefighters

Elpidoforos S. Soteriades, Marcelo C. Targino, Michael A. Talias, Russ Hauser, Ichiro Kawachi, David C. Christiani, Stefanos N. Kales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the association between obesity and electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis examining the association between body mass index and ECG abnormalities among Massachusetts' firefighters. Results: Overall, 276 firefighters had undergone ECG testing at baseline (1996/97) and follow-up (2000). The incidence of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) was 15 per 1000 person-years of follow-up. After adjusting for age, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, obese firefighters were about two times more likely to develop ECG-LVH (OR = 2.0; 95% CI, 0.6 to 6.6) and were 1.5 times more likely to develop ECG abnormalities (OR = 1.5; 95% CI, 0.6 to 3.9) at follow-up. Conclusions: Obese firefighters appear to have a higher risk of LVH and ECG abnormalities than normal-weight individuals. Our findings need further evaluation and may have important implications for occupational health policies and periodic medical evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-871
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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