Long-Term Excessive Body Weight and Adult Left Ventricular Hypertrophy Are Linked Through Later-Life Body Size and Blood Pressure: The Bogalusa Heart Study

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Childhood adiposity is associated with cardiac structure in later life, but little is known regarding to what extent childhood body weight affects adult left ventricular geometric patterns through adult body size and blood pressure (BP).


Determine quantitatively the mediation effect of adult body weight and BP on the association of childhood body mass index (BMI) with adult left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy.

Methods and Results:

This longitudinal study consisted of 710 adults, aged 26 to 48 years, who had been examined for BMI and BP measured ≥4× during childhood and ≥2× during adulthood, with a mean follow-up period of 28.0 years. After adjusting for age, race, and sex, adult BMI had a significant mediation effect (76.4%; P<0.01) on the childhood BMI–adult LV mass index association. The mediation effects of adult systolic BP (15.2%), long-term burden (12.1%), and increasing trends of systolic BP (7.9%) were all significant (P<0.01). Furthermore, these mediators also had significant mediation effects on the association of childhood BMI with adult LV hypertrophy, eccentric hypertrophy, and concentric hypertrophy. Importantly, the mediation effects of adult BMI were all significantly stronger than those of adult systolic BP on LV mass index, LV hypertrophy, and LV remodeling patterns (P<0.01). Additionally, the mediation effect of systolic BP on concentric hypertrophy was significantly stronger than that on eccentric hypertrophy (P<0.01).


These findings suggest that increased childhood BMI has long-term adverse impact on subclinical changes in adult cardiac structure, and early life excessive body weight and adult LV hypertrophy are linked through later life excessive body weight and elevated BP.

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