Background: P-wave indices reflect atrial abnormalities contributing to atrial fibrillation (AF). We aimed to assess a comprehensive set of P-wave characteristics for prediction of incident AF in a population-based setting. Methods: Malmö Preventative Project (MPP) participants were reexamined in 2002–2006 with electrocardiographic (ECG) and echocardiographic examinations and followed for 5 years. AF-free subjects (n = 983, age 70 ± 5 years, 38% females) with sinus rhythm ECGs were included in the study. ECGs were digitally processed using the Glasgow algorithm. P-wave duration, axis, dispersion, P-terminal force in lead V1 and interatrial block (IAB) were evaluated. ECG risk score combining the morphology, voltage and length of P-wave (MVP score) was calculated. New-onset diagnoses of AF were obtained from nation-wide registers. Results: During follow up, 66 patients (7%) developed AF. After adjustment for age and gender, the independent predictors of AF were abnormal P-wave axis > 75° (HR 1.63 CI95% 1.95–11.03) and MVP score 4 (HR 6.17 CI 95% 1.76–21.64), both correlated with LA area: Person r − 0.146, p < 0.001 and 0.192, p < 0.001 respectively. Advanced IAB (aIAB) with biphasic P-wave morphology in leads III and aVF was the most prevalent variant of aIAB and predicted AF in a univariate model (HR 2.59 CI 95% 1.02–6.58). Conclusion: P-wave frontal axis and MVP score are ECG-based AF predictors in the population-based cohort. Our study provides estimates for prevalence and prognostic importance of different variants of aIAB, providing a support to use biphasic P-wave morphology in lead aVF as the basis for aIAB definition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems

Free keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Interatrial block
  • MVP score
  • P-wave


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