Left ventricular hypertrophy associated with hypertension and its relevance as a risk factor for complications
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
Recent research indicates that the level of left ventricular (LV) mass, commonly measured by echocardiography, reflects the combined effects of a variety of factors involved in the pathophysiology of hypertension, including obesity, blood pressure responses to everyday activity, high sodium intake and blood viscosity, the volume work load of the heart, and genetic factors predisposing to hypertension. Prospective studies indicate that LV mass is a stronger predictor of subsequent morbid events and death than blood pressure or other conventional risk factors except age. Preliminary findings of close relations between LV mass and arterial disease and between the change in LV mass during antihypertensive treatment and subsequent events contribute to explaining the strong predictive value of LV mass. Further research is needed to clarify the biologic basis of these observations and to determine whether stratification of hypertensive patients based on their level of LV mass can improve the treatment of hypertension.