Association of Low-Grade Albuminuria with Adverse Cardiac Mechanics: Findings from the HyperGEN Study
Background—Albuminuria is a marker of endothelial dysfunction and has been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. The reasons for this association are unclear, but may be due to the relationship between endothelial dysfunction and intrinsic myocardial dysfunction.
Methods and Results—In the HyperGEN study, a population- and family-based study of hypertension, we examined the relationship between urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) and cardiac mechanics (N=1894, all of whom had normal left ventricular ejection fraction and wall motion). We performed speckle-tracking echocardiographic analysis to quantify global longitudinal, circumferential, and radial strain (GLS, GCS, and GRS, respectively), and early diastolic (e') tissue velocities. We used E/e' ratio as a marker of increased LV filling pressures. We used multivariable-adjusted linear mixed effect models to determine independent associations between UACR and cardiac mechanics. The mean age was 50±14 years, 59% were female, and 46% were African-American. Comorbidities were increasingly prevalent among higher UACR quartiles. Albuminuria was associated with GLS, GCS, GRS, e' velocity, and E/e' ratio on unadjusted analyses. After adjustment for covariates, UACR was independently associated with lower absolute GLS (multivariable-adjusted mean GLS [95% CI] for UACR Quartile 1 = 15.3 [15.0-15.5]% vs. UACR Q4 = 14.6 [14.3-14.9]%, P for trend <0.001) and increased E/e' ratio (Q1 = 25.3 [23.5-27.1] vs. Q4 = 29.0 [27.0-31.0], P= 0.003). The association between UACR and GLS was present even in participants with UACR < 30 mg/g (P<0.001 after multivariable adjustment).
Conclusions—Albuminuria, even at low levels, is associated with adverse cardiac mechanics and higher E/e' ratio.
- Received April 26, 2013.
- Revision received August 19, 2013.
- Accepted September 23, 2013.