OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the prognostic value of left ventricular (LV) mass at echocardiography in uncomplicated subjects with essential hypertension. BACKGROUND: Only a few single-center studies support the prognostic value of LV mass in uncomplicated hypertension. METHODS: The MAssa Ventricolare sinistra nell'Ipertensione study was a multicenter (45 centers) prospective study. The prespecified aim was to explore the prognostic value of LV mass in hypertension. Admission criteria included essential hypertension, no previous cardiovascular events, and age ≥50. There was central reading of echocardiographic tracings. Treatment was tailored to the single subject. RESULTS: Overall, 1,033 subjects (396 men) were followed for 0 to 4 years (median, 3 years). Mean age at entry was 60 years, and systolic/diastolic blood pressure was 154/92 mm Hg. The rate of cardiovascular events (×100 patient-years) was 1.3 in the group with normal LV mass and 3.2 in the group (28.5% of total sample) with LV mass ≥125 g/body surface area (p = 0.005). After adjustment for age (p <0.01), diabetes (p <0.01), cigarette smoking (p <0.01) and serum creatinine (p = 0.03), LV hypertrophy was associated with an increased risk of events (RR [relative risk] 2.08; 95% CI [confidence interval]: 1.22 to 3.57). For each 39 g/m2 (1 SD) increase in LV mass there was an independent 40% rise in the risk of major cardiovascular events (95% CI: 14 to 72; p = 0.0013). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show a strong, continuous and independent relationship of LV mass to subsequent cardiovascular morbidity. This is the first study to extend such demonstration to a large nationwide multicenter sample of uncomplicated subjects with essential hypertension.
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