Background and aim. Aortic root dilatation (ARD) is a cardiovascular phenotype of adverse prognostic value; its prevalence has been mostly investigated in population-based samples and selected hypertensive cohorts. Data from clinical practice are rather scant. Thus, we examined the prevalence and correlates of ARD in a large sample of hypertensive patients referred by general practitioners for a routine echocardiographic examination. Methods. A total of 2229 untreated and treated hypertensive subjects (mean age 62 years) referred to 17 outpatient echocardiographic laboratories across Italy for detection of hypertensive subclinical cardiac damage were included in the study. ARD was defined by aortic diameter exceeding 3.7 cm in women and 3.9 cm in men. Results. ARD was found in 263 patients, with an overall prevalence of 11.8% (16.9% in men and 6.2% in women, p <0.05). In multivariate regression analyses, body surface area (BSA), left ventricular (LV) mass and age were in ranking order the most important correlates of aortic root size in the whole population study as well as in men. In women, LV mass and its derivative indexes were the most important independent variables associated to aortic root size. Conclusions. This multicenter nationwide survey indicates that ARD is a frequent cardiovascular phenotype in hypertensives referred to echo-labs for detection of hypertensive organ damage. BSA, LV mass and age are the most important correlates of this phenotype. The hierarchical order of these factors differs between genders, LV mass being the strongest independent variable in women.
- Aortic root dilatation
- left ventricular mass
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine