Prevalence of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy and Determinants of Left Ventricular Mass in Obese Women

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Obesity is frequently associated with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a condition leading to an increased cardiovascular risk.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of LVH in a cohort of obese women, with a main focus on the anthropometric and clinical parameters that are associated with an increased left ventricular mass (LVM).


The study was performed in 166 obese female patients. LVM was measured by echocardiography. The influence of various parameters on LVM was assessed by multivariate analysis.


The prevalence of LVH was drastically different depending on the type of indexed LVM, being 19.9% when the LVM was indexed for body surface area and 72.3% when indexed for height. Age, duration of obesity, weight, waist-to-hip ratio, pulse pressure and hypertension retained an independent direct correlation with the LVM, explaining 39.6% of the overall LVM variability. Among the parameters of the metabolic syndrome, the increase in blood pressure was the main determinant of increased LVM.


By using allometric indexation of LVM for height, the results of our study indicate a high prevalence of LVH in a cohort of obese women. Hypertension, pulse pressure, age, duration of obesity, bodyweight and fat distribution, expressed as waist-to-hip ratio, predict 40% of LVM variation.

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