Chronic disease of the heart muscle, often called "chronic myocarditis," is the most common type of heart disease found in patients after the age of 40. Hypertension, which is present in about 75 per cent of the cases, is believed to be the most constant and the most important factor in causing this condition. The changes produced in the heart muscle as a result of hypertension are not always recognized clinically, and often it is only through electrocardiographic examination that the condition is detected.
To determine the significance, therefore, of the electrocardiographic observations in hypertensive heart disease, a study was made of 100 consecutive patients with hypertension who presented themselves for treatment at the heart clinic of the medical dispensary of the University of Minnesota. A thorough physical examination, a roentgen-ray examination and an electrocardiographic examination were made in each case.
In 37 of the cases (37 per cent), abnormal