Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and differential risk of cardiac and non-cardiac QT-prolonging drugs in 37,000 cases

Talip E Eroglu, Carlo A Barcella, Marieke T Blom, Grimur H Mohr, Patrick C Souverein, Christian Torp-Pedersen, Fredrik Folke, Mads Wissenberg, Anthonius de Boer, Peter J Schwartz, Gunnar H Gislason, Hanno L Tan, ESCAPE-NET Investigators

6 Citationer (Scopus)


AIMS: Drugs that prolong the QT interval, either by design (cardiac QT-prolonging drugs: anti-arrhythmics) or as off-target effect (non-cardiac QT-prolonging drugs), may increase the risk of ventricular arrhythmias and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Risk mitigation measures were instituted, in particular, surrounding prescription of cardiac QT-prolonging drugs. We studied OHCA risk of both drug types in current clinical practice.

METHODS: Using data from large population-based OHCA registries in the Netherlands and Denmark, we conducted two independent case-control studies. OHCA cases with presumed cardiac causes were matched on age/sex/index date with up to five non-OHCA controls. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) for the association of cardiac or non-cardiac QT-prolonging drugs with OHCA risk using conditional logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS: We identified 2503 OHCA cases and 10 543 non-OHCA controls in the Netherlands, and 35 017 OHCA cases and 175 085 non-OHCA controls in Denmark. Compared to no use of QT-prolonging drugs, use of non-cardiac QT-prolonging drugs (Netherlands: cases: 3.0%, controls: 1.9%; Denmark: cases: 14.9%, controls: 7.5%) was associated with increased OHCA risk (Netherlands: OR 1.37 [95% CI: 1.03-1.81]; Denmark: OR 1.63 [95% CI: 1.57-1.70]). The association between cardiac QT-prolonging drugs (Netherlands: cases: 4.0%, controls: 2.5%; Denmark: cases: 2.1%, controls: 0.9%) and OHCA was weaker (Netherlands: OR 1.17 [95% CI: 0.92-1.50]; Denmark: OR 1.21 [95% CI: 1.09-1.33]), although users of cardiac QT-prolonging drugs had more medication use and comorbidities associated with OHCA risk than users of non-cardiac QT-prolonging drugs.

CONCLUSION: In clinical practice, cardiac QT-prolonging drugs confer lower OHCA risk than non-cardiac QT-prolonging drugs, although users of the former have higher a priori risk. This is likely due to risk mitigation measures surrounding prescription of cardiac QT-prolonging drugs.

TidsskriftBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)820-829
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2022


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