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What ECG changes are associated with hidradenitis suppurativa?

What electrocardiographic (ECG) changes are associated with hidradenitis suppurativa? Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease, recently associated with metabolic syndrome, sub-clinical atherosclerosis and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

A recent study investigated the unknown ECG changes associated with hidradenitis suppurativa, which have recently been associated with significant cardiovascular burden.

Data were obtained from the cross‐sectional Danish General Population Study. Diagnosis was based on a validated self‐reported questionnaire. In total, 404 individuals met the diagnosis criteria and 19,001 controls without the disease were identified.

Heart rate was significantly higher [mean difference 2·3 beats per minute] when adjusting for age and sex, but when adjusting for multivariates, there was no significant difference [0·3 beats per minute].

Severe hidradenitis suppurativa was significantly associated with increased heart rate across all models [2·9 beats per minute]. Average QRS duration was significantly shorter in the group with mild disease but not in the groups with moderate and severe disease.

The study indicated that mean resting heart rate in patients with severe hidradenitis suppurativa was significantly higher compared with controls. Given that resting heart rate is associated with increased risk of all‐cause and cardiovascular mortality, and that patients with hidradenitis suppurativa have increased risk of cardiovascular events, this finding is potentially important, easily testable and intervenable.

Read more research on general dermatology.


Juhl, C. , Miller, I. , Jemec, G. , Kanters, J. and Ellervik, C. (2018), Hidradenitis suppurativa and electrocardiographic changes: a cross‐sectional population study. Br J Dermatol, 178: 222-228. doi:10.1111/bjd.15778

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