Cardiac and vascular structural changes in normotensive subjects with parental hypertension

Cristina Giannattasio, Bianca M. Cattaneo, Arduino A. Mangoni, Stefano Carugo, Maria L. Stella, Monica Failla, Silvia Trazzi, Roberto Sega, Guido Grassi, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate whether a predisposition to hypertension is associated with early cardiac and vascular alterations. Subjects: Twenty-five normotensive subjects with both parents hypertensive (group 1) and 28 age- and sex-matched control subjects with both parents normotensive (group 2). Methods: In the two groups the measurements included: clinic blood pressure; left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, septal wall thickness and posterior wall thickness (by echocardiography); minimal forearm and calf vascular resistances (i.e. resistance assessed immediately after prolonged ischaemia, which depends on arteriolar wall thickness); and baseline and postischaemic radial artery compliance-pressure curves over the systolodiastolic pressure range (by echotracking device and finger blood pressure). Results: Group 1 had a slightly higher clinic blood pressure, and septal and posterior wall thickness, than group 2. Minimal forearm vascular resistance was clearly greater in group 1 than in group 2, whereas minimal calf vascular resistance was not significantly different in the two groups. Radial artery compliance was also similar in the two groups. Conclusions: Parental predisposition to hypertension is accompanied by cardiac and arteriolar structural changes qualitatively similar to those found in hypertensive patients, although arteriolar structural changes do not involve all vascular beds. Arterial compliance is not altered in this condition. Vascular changes may be determined by mechanisms other than blood pressure elevation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Arterial compliance
  • Blood pressure
  • Echocardiography
  • Genetic hypertension
  • Peripheral resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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