Risk prediction for electrocardiographic (ECG) left ventricular hypertrophy related criteria, used in clinical trials, and epidemiologic studies of clinically healthy people, has depended in the past on dichotomous classification of ECG LVH criteria. Recent analyses have shown that more sensitive methods of LVH ECG classification without loss of specificity are needed to improve on dichotomous classification. This was done by relating six year incident significant change in continuous score criteria of ECG LVH to the 16 year (10 year post trial) coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality among 12,866 men, free of clinical disease, aged 35 to 57 years at baseline in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. It was found that significant change in continuous ECG LVH criteria was a stronger independent predictor of future CHD and CVD mortality than was use of dichotomous classification of the same criteria. It was also demonstrated that increase in continuous ECG LVH indexes, below previous dichotomous thresholds independently (of standard CVD risk factors, including increase in obesity - indicated by an increase in adult BMI) predicted excess CHD and CVD mortality and that combinations of continuous indices increases the specificity and relative risk in clinically disease-free middle-aged men.