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

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Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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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