Table 1

Characteristics of the study population (age range 25–74 years)

Age (years)50.4 (14)
Male sex48.2% (707)
Evidence of IHD23% (324)
Breathlessness9.8% (144)
Hypertension23.8% (344)
Diabetes2.5% (37)
Left ventricular dysfunction2.9%(43)
 Asymptomatic49% (20)
 Symptomatic51% (21)
Ischaemic cause83% (35)
  • Values are mean (SD) or percentage (number) of group.

  • Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) refers to a history of angina or treatment with nitrates, a history of myocardial infarction or ECG evidence of Q waves, or a significant ST-T segment abnormality. Breathlessness refers to cardiac dyspnoea according to the Medical Research Council breathlessness questions (in the absence of cough and/or sputum production for more than three days of the week for three months of the year). Hypertension is a measured blood pressure of > 140 mm Hg systolic and/or 90 mm Hg diastolic and/or current treatment with an antihypertension drug. Diabetes is defined as a history of physician diagnosed diabetes and/or treatment with an oral hypoglycaemic agent and/or insulin. Left ventricular dysfunction is a left ventricular ejection fraction ⩽ 30%.