Prevalence and correlates of new-onset left ventricular geometric abnormalities in a general population: the PAMELA study

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We sought to evaluate new-onset abnormal LV (left ventricle) patterns and their correlates over a 10-year period in members of the general population enrolled in the Pressioni Arteriose Monitorate e Loro Associazioni study.


The study included 817 patients with normal LV geometry at baseline evaluation having a readable echocardiogram at the end of follow-up. Cut-points for abnormal LV geometric patterns were derived from reference values of the healthy fraction of the Pressioni Arteriose Monitorate e Loro Associazioni population.


Over a 10-year period 39% of participants progressed to abnormal LV geometric patterns as follows: LV concentric remodelling (15.2%), eccentric dilated left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) (8.4%), concentric LVH (7.9%), eccentric nondilated LVH (6.8%), and concentric dilated LVH (0.7%). Age [odds ratio (OR): 1.039; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.023–1.056, P < 0.0001], LV mass index (OR: 1.039; 95% CI 1.026–1.052, P < 0.0001), night-time SBP (OR: 1.024; 95% CI 1.005–1.043, P = 0.01), office SBP changes during follow-up (OR: 1.017 95% CI 1.007–1028, P = 0.001), and BMI (OR: 1.067; 95% CI 1.017–1.120, P = 0.009) emerged as key correlates of new-onset abnormal LV geometry. Age and LV mass index turned out to be strong determinants of all sub-types of LVH; whereas blood pressure, BMI, and sex exhibited a different predictive value across the various LV geometric patterns.


Our study provides the first evidence that long-term changes from normal cardiac morphology toward abnormal LV geometry represent a clinically relevant phenomenon at the community level. From a practical perspective this finding reinforces the concept that life-style changes and pharmacologic treatment aimed to reduce over-weight/obesity and optimize blood pressure are of paramount importance for prevention of subclinical cardiac damage.

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