Background: The electrocardiogram has become the most commonly performed cardiovascular test and an essential diagnostic tool in clinical cardiology. Increasing evidences suggest that long-term khat chewing may have powerful implications on the cardiovascular system. However; very few studies have focused on the association between khat chewing and ECG alteration.
Objective: To asses Electrocardiogram alteration and its association with khat chewing in Jimma town, Southwest Ethiopia.
Method: In this study, a cross-sectional, house-to-house survey on the representative sample of 342 persons, age ≥ 18 years, was conducted in Jimma town, southwestern Ethiopia, from March to April 2016. Sociodemographic characteristics, khat chewing history and ECG record (by standard 12-lead) data were collected. Kebeles, household, one member of a family in each household was chosen by the lottery method. Collected data was checked for its completeness and coded then entered to Epi-data 3.1 version and then exported to SPSS version 20 window for analysis. Descriptive statistics, binary and multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied to compute the variables.
Results: There was a significant statistical association between age, khat chewing and ECG alteration. The most prevalent altered ECG finding was high heart rate 28(47.46%), followed by myocardial infarction 12(20.34%).
Conclusion: This work and previous studies demonstrated that age, chronic khat chewing and increase in systolic blood pressure have effect on ECG alteration.
Recommendation: Health promotion interventions should aim to prevent cardiovascular system diseases. Policy makers should design strategies to control the production, usage and distribution of khat.