Sex-specific determinants of increased left ventricular mass in the Tecumseh Blood Pressure Study.
BACKGROUND Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) defined by either ECG or echocardiographic criteria is a risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. A number of determinants of LVH have been described in previous studies, principally male sex, hypertension, obesity, and aortic valvular stenosis. We examined the distribution of LV mass (LVM) in a population of 18- to 42-year-old normotensive men and women who were free of valvular heart disease to establish sex-specific normal values for LVM index (LVMI) and to determine the correlates of LVMI.
METHODS AND RESULTS LVM was derived from measurements obtained by M-mode echocardiography. Average LVMI is significantly greater in men (102.9 +/- 0.7 g/m2) than women (88.2 +/- 0.7 g/m2). By defining LVH as an LVMI greater than the 90th percentile, we developed sex-specific criteria for LVH: men, > 125.4 g/m2; women, > 110 g/m2. We found that LVH in men is associated with indices of enhanced sympathetic nervous system reactivity and with elevated fasting insulin and triglyceride levels, which may be caused by insulin resistance. In women, LVH was associated with higher body weight and obesity.
CONCLUSIONS Before the onset of hypertension, increased LVMI appears to have different determinants in men and women. We suggest that early LVH in young men is a manifestation of hyperkinetic borderline hypertension, a state previously shown to be associated with increased sympathetic nervous system activity and insulin resistance. The hyperkinetic state is less prevalent in young women, in whom increased adiposity seems to be the predominant factor associated with LVH.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association