Directed acyclic graphs helped to identify confounding in the association of disability and electrocardiographic findings: results from the KORA-Age study

  • Objectives To examine the association between electrocardiographic (ECG) findings and disability status in older adults. Study Design and Setting KORA-Age, a population-based cross-sectional study of the MONICA/KORA project, a randomized sample from Southern Germany of people aged 65 years or older. Results A total of 534 (51.5%) of 1,037 participants were characterized as disabled. Disabled participants were on average 4.5 years older than those who were not disabled. Crude associations of left-axis deviation, ventricular conduction defects, atrial fibrillation, and QT prolongation with disability status were significant (P < 0.05). In models controlled for age and sex, these effects remained constant except for QT prolongation. In the models adjusted for the minimal sufficient adjustment set (consisting of the variables sex, physical activity, age, obesity, diabetes, education, heart diseases, income, lung diseases, and stroke) identified by a directed acyclic graph (DAG), no significant association could be shown. Conclusion Associations between specific ECG findings and disability were found in unadjusted analysis and logistic models adjusted for age and sex. However, when adjusting for other possible confounders identified by the DAG, all these associations were no longer significant. It is important to adequately identify confounding in such settings.

Export metadata

Additional Services

Search Google Scholar
Author:N. Roehrig, R. Strobl, Martin Müller, S. Perz, S. Kaab, E. Martens, A. Peters, B. Linkohr, E. Grill
Parent Title (English):Journal of clinical epidemiology
Editor: PlumX Metrics
Document Type:Article (peer reviewed)
Publication Year:2014
Tag:ECG abnormalities; Electrocardiography; aged; cross-sectional study; directed acrylic graph; disability evaluation
faculties / departments:Fakultät für Angewandte Gesundheits- und Sozialwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie