Intrafamilial Aggregation and Heritability of Left Ventricular Geometric Remodeling Is Independent of Cardiac Mass in Families of African Ancestry

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Whether left ventricular (LV) geometric remodeling, as indexed by relative wall thickness (RWT), aggregates in families and is inherited independent of LV mass (LVM) and additional confounders is uncertain.


We determined whether RWT as assessed from 2D targeted M-mode echocardiography shows intrafamilial aggregation and heritability independent of LVM in 181 nuclear families (73 spouse pairs, 403 parent–child pairs, and 177 sibling–sibling pairs) with 16 families including 3 generations from an urban developing community of black Africans. Intrafamilial aggregation and heritability estimates (S.A.G.E. software) were assessed independent of confounders, including central aortic systolic blood pressure (SBPc) (radial applanation tonometry and SphygmoCor software).


Independent of confounders including SBPc, LV RWT was correlated in parent–child (r = 0.32, P < 0.0001) and sibling–sibling (r = 0.29, P < 0.0001), but not in spouse (r = 0.11, P = 0.33) pairs. The relationships between parent–child (r = 0.28, P < 0.0001) and sibling–sibling (r = 0.24, P < 0.001) pairs persisted with further adjustments for LVM or LVM indexed to height2.7 (LVMI). Similarly, independent of confounders, LV RWT showed significant heritability (h2 ± SEM = 0.56±0.09, P < 0.0001) and this persisted with further adjustments for LVM (h2 ± SEM = 0.48±0.09, P < 0.0001) or LVMI (h2 ± SEM = 0.49±0.09, P < 0.0001).


In a group of African ancestry, independent of LVM, LV geometric remodeling shows significant intrafamilial aggregation and heritability. Genetic factors may in-part determine the LV geometric remodeling process independent of the extent of cardiac hypertrophy.

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