Gender differences in left ventricular anatomy, blood viscosity and volume regulatory hormones in normal adults
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
Gender differences in left ventricular (LV) anatomy, whole blood and plasma viscosity, and blood volume regulatory hormones were studied in 110 normotensive employed adults (28 black and 34 white men [mean age 51 +/- 12 years], 20 black and 28 white women [mean age 53 +/- 12 years]). LV mass and wall thicknesses were positively related to whole blood viscosity, primarily because of higher values of both variables in men. LV chamber size was inversely related to hematocrit and to blood viscosity (p less than 0.002) in women but not in men. Whole blood viscosity increased with age in men (p less than 0.01), but tended to decrease in women; older women also had better LV function, larger LV chambers, and a trend toward increasing LV mass. Atrial natriuretic factor increased with age in women but not in men (r = 0.60, p less than 0.001), and plasma renin activity decreased (r = -0.35, p less than 0.02). Thus, in women, increase in LV chamber size with age and associated changes in LV systolic function, atrial natriuretic factor levels and plasma renin activity suggest plasma volume expansion related to the aging process. These findings also suggest that an increase in LV volume load with age may contribute to previously reported increases in LV mass in older women.