Although sudden cardiac death (SCD) is heritable, its genetic underpinnings are poorly characterized. The QT interval appears to have a graded relationship to SCD, and 35% to 45% of its variation is heritable. We examined the relationship among recently reported common genetic variants, QT interval, and SCD.
We genotyped 15 common (minor allele frequency >1%) candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), based on association with the QT interval in prior studies, in individuals in 2 cohort studies (Health 2000, n = 6597; Mini-Finland, n = 801). After exclusions, we identified 116 incident SCDs from the remaining sample (n = 6808). We constructed a QT genotype score (QT(score)) using the allele copy number and previously reported effect estimates for each SNP. Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for age, sex, and geographical area were used for time to SCD analyses. The QT(score) was a continuous independent predictor of the heart rate-corrected QT interval (P