Abstract 1320: Aortic Stiffness is Associated With Left Atrial Volume in Early Adult Life
BACKGROUND: Left atrial (LA) distension is linked to cardiovascular outcomes in high risk, elderly and hypertensive adults and has recently been linked with aortic stiffness in these groups. How early in life the associations between vascular pathophysiology and cardiac function emerge is unknown. We used cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging to provide precise assessment of LA volume and studied associations with aortic stiffness in young adults.
METHODS: Seventy six young volunteers [mean age=25, (40 female)], without history of cardiovascular disease, obesity or hypertension were evaluated. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure LA volume, and aortic stiffness was assessed by pulse wave velocity. As aortic stiffness is, in part, determined by endothelial function we also assessed flow mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery by ultrasound. LA volume was indexed to body surface area for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Increased LA volume was associated with increased aortic stiffness (r=0.37, P<0.01) (figure 1⇓) in early adult life, whereas there was no significant association with FMD. In multivariate analysis, including age, sex, body mass index, waist hip ratio, blood pressure, insulin resistance, smoking, dyslipidemia and other cardiovascular risk parameters, aortic stiffness was the only independent predictor of LA volume (β=0.36, R=0.33, P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Increased LA volume is associated with increased aortic stiffness by early adult life. Significant coupling between cardiac and vascular function precedes the development of overt risk factors and highlights the importance of novel early prevention strategies.