Prognostic significance of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy and systemic hypertension (the LIFE study)
Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular
Ventricular Dysfunction, Left
Patients with hypertension and left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy commonly have impaired diastolic filling. However, it remains unknown whether changes in LV diastolic filling variables are associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In this study, 778 patients with hypertension with electrocardiographic LV hypertrophy who underwent echocardiography at baseline and annually thereafter during randomized losartan- or atenolol-based antihypertensive treatment were followed for a mean of 4.6 years. The composite cardiovascular end point was the first occurrence of fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction, fatal or nonfatal stroke, and cardiovascular mortality. Antihypertensive therapy resulted in an increase in the prevalence of normal transmitral flow pattern from 28% to 46% of patients. Although antihypertensive treatment often resulted in a marked increase in the prevalence of normal mitral valve flow pattern, this was not associated with reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality when adjusting for blood pressure, left atrial diameter, LV mass index, and treatment in time-varying Cox analyses. In contrast, lower in-treatment E/A ratios and shorter mitral valve deceleration times were associated with less risk for heart failure. Similarly, normal in-treatment transmitral flow pattern was strongly associated with less risk for heart failure (hazard ratio 0.22, 95% confidence interval 0.05 to 0.98, p = 0.048), even when taking in-treatment left atrial diameter and blood pressure into account. In conclusion, antihypertensive treatment in patients with hypertension with electrocardiographic LV hypertrophy resulted in significant improvement in transmitral flow patterns; this was not associated with reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, normal in-treatment LV filling was strongly associated with a reduced risk for hospitalization for heart failure.