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The myocardial wall of the left ventricle is a complex, multilayered structure, which is altered in young adults with hypertension. The aim of this study was to define the characteristics of longitudinal and circumferential strain in young adults with hypertension.Two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography was used to analyze longitudinal and circumferential strain parameters in 67 young adults with hypertension, 70 older young adults with essential hypertension and 62 healthy adults.The global longitudinal strain (GLS) and global circumferential strain (GCS) was the highest at endocardium, and lowest at epicardium. A layer-specific analysis of myocardial deformation in all adults revealed that all of the peak systolic longitudinal strain (LS) and the peak systolic circumferential strain (CS) in the endocardium, mid-myocardium and epicardium were gradually increased from the base to the apex. The peak systolic LS showed significant differences at basal, mid-ventricular, and apical level among normal adults, young NLVH (nonleft ventricular hypertrophy), and young LVH (left ventricular hypertrophy). In all the adults with hypertension, young adults were associated with higher peak systolic longitudinal strain values compared with older adults, but the small differences of LS may be meaningless in clinical settings. Between the young LVH and older LVH, the peak systolic CS showed significant differences except data of epicardium at basal and mid-ventricular level.This study provides reference values for layer-specific strain in young adults with hypertension. This detailed strain analysis provides layer-oriented information to reveal the different characteristics of circumferential and longitudinal strain in young adults with hypertension. This systolic dysfunction could be detected conveniently and accurately by 2DSTE.