A QTc risk score in patients with obstructive sleep apnea

Salma I. Patel, Wojciech Zareba, Christopher Wendel, Karolina Perez, Imran Patel, Stuart F. Quan, Shawn D. Youngstedt, Sairam Parthasarathy, Raymond L. Woosley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at risk for QTc prolongation, a known risk factor for increased mortality. The pro-QTc score can help identify individuals at increased risk for mortality associated with increased QTc however, it has not been evaluated in patients with OSA. The goal of this study was to evaluate the pro-QTc score in patients with OSA. Methods: Medical records of patients undergoing a sleep study at our sleep center from February 2012 to August 2020 were analyzed. Presence or absence of OSA was determined by polysomnography. The pro-QTc score was calculated with 1 point assigned for each of the following: female sex, QT-prolonging diagnoses and conditions, QT-prolonging electrolyte abnormalities, and medications with known risk for QT-prolongation. Mortality was determined from the electronic medical record of an integrated healthcare system. Results: There were 2246 patients (age 58 ± 15 years, 54% male, 82 dead) with OSA and 421 patients (age 54 ± 18 years, 43% male, 18 dead) without OSA. Of those with OSA, 1628 (72.5%) had at least one risk factor for QTc prolongation. A higher pro-QTc score was associated with greater mortality in patients with OSA (HR 1.48 per pro-QTc score, p < 0.001, 95% CI 1.3–1.7) but not in patients without OSA (HR 1.25 per pro-QTc score, p = 0.30, 95% CI 0.82–1.9), after adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), and smoking status. Conclusion: In patients with OSA, a higher pro-QTc score was associated with greater mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Mortality
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Pro-QTc score
  • QTc risk score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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