Age- and Gender-Specific Changes in the Left Ventricular Relaxation: A Doppler Echocardiographic Study in Healthy Individuals

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Background—Although left ventricular diastolic function has been shown to deteriorate with advancing age, its gender-specific change is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate age- and gender-specific changes in tissue Doppler–derived left ventricular diastolic index, E′.Methods and Results—A total of 1333 healthy individual without known heart disease or hypertension (mean age, 55 years; range, 10 to 89) were enrolled and studied. Peak early mitral annular velocity (E′) and peak late mitral annular velocity (A′) were recorded and measured. As an index of the left ventricular relaxation, E′ was used. As an index of the left ventricular filling pressure, E/E′ was calculated. Although systolic indices poorly correlated with age, diastolic indices correlated well with age. Among those aged 30 to 39 and 40 to 49 years, E′ was significantly lower in males than in females. In subjects aged 50 to 59 and 60 to 69 years, E′ was similar in both genders. Among those aged 70 to 79 and 80 to 89 years, E′ was significantly lower in females than in males. Predictors of the lowest quartile of E′ among subjects aged >50 years were age (P<0.0001; χ2=66.11; odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.058 to 1.097) and female gender (P=0.002; χ2=9.23; odds ratio, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.202 to 2.343).Conclusion—Age-related changes in diastolic indices were gender specific. In the elderly population, diastolic function deteriorated more significantly in the female gender than in the male gender. These results may explain the relatively higher incidence in elderly females among patients with diastolic heart failure and higher cardiovascular mortality in the female gender.

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