Long-term changes in left ventricular mass echocardiographic findings from a general population

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Abstract

Aim:

We sought to assess the long-term changes in left ventricular (LV) mass in a population-based sample, focusing on new onset, persistence, regression and severity of LV hypertrophy (LVH), as well as on the demographic and clinical variables independently related to this dynamic process.

Methods:

A total of 1113 participants with measurable echocardiographic parameters at baseline and after a 10-year follow-up were included in the analysis. Cut points for LVH were derived from current echocardiographic guidelines.

Results:

LVH prevalence significantly increased from 13 to 33% as a result of LVH new onset in 254 and LVH regression in 31 cases. Severe LVH prevalence increased by 4.3 times from baseline, a trend mainly related to transition from mild-moderate-to-severe LVH in patients with preexisting cardiac hypertrophy. Variables such as age, female sex, baseline SBP, as well as delta follow-up-baseline SBP, BMI, metabolic syndrome and use of antihypertensive drugs were independently related either to new-onset or to persistent LVH.

Conclusion:

Long-term LV mass changes in a general population are associated with a marked increase in the prevalence and severity of LVH, and this unfavourable trend was more frequent in women. As blood pressure, metabolic variables and BMI emerged as key correlates of this adverse process, our findings suggest that interventions aimed to modify such risk factors may have a role in preventing new onset and progression LVH, as well as a marked worsening of cardiovascular risk profile at the community level.

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