Aortic Valvular Regurgitation: Prevalence and Clinical Characteristics in a Predominantly Obese Adult Population Not Taking Anorexigens

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We recently reported the prevalence of aortic regurgitation (AR) by Doppler echocardiography (echo) in obese subjects to be higher than in some previous reports. Objective: To describe the prevalence of AR in an obese population not taking anorexigens as a function of demographic characteristics, cardiovascular risk factors, and other potential predictors.


In 539 adult subjects, cardiovascular status was evaluated by medical history, physical examination, and Doppler echocardiograms performed according to a standardized imaging protocol. Echocardiographic readers were blinded as to each subject's medical and medication histories. Associations of AR with demographic and comorbid factors were examined.


Subjects had a mean (± SD) body mass index (BMI) of 35 ± 7 kg/m2, and were predominantly white (87.6%), females (74%), with a mean age of 47 ± 12 years. AR by Food and Drug Administration criteria (≥mild) was present in 4.1% of the subjects. Covariates significantly associated with AR were increasing age (P < 0.001), presence of a history of hypertension (P = 0.001), left ventricular (LV) internal dimensions (P < 0.005), and tricuspid and mitral regurgitation grade (P < 0.001).


Clinical and Doppler echo evaluation of a large, predominantly obese, adult population revealed that AR was more prevalent than in some previous reports and was highly correlated with increased age, presence of a history of hypertension, LV internal dimensions, tricuspid and mitral regurgitation.

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