Objectives: We sought to determine the prevalence and correlates of aortic regurgitation (AR) in a population-based sample group.
Background: Concern over induction of AR by weight loss medication highlights the importance of assessing the prevalence and correlates of AR in unselected patient groups.
Methods: Aortic regurgitation was assessed by color flow Doppler echocardiography in 3,501 American Indian participants age 47 to 81 years during the second Strong Heart Study.
Results: Mild (1+) AR was present in 7.3%, 2+ AR in 2.4% and 3+ to 4+ AR in 0.3% of participants, more frequently in those > or =60 years old than in those <60 years old (14.4% vs. 5.8%, p<0.001); AR was unrelated to gender. Compared with participants without AR, those with mild AR had a lower body mass index (p<0.004) and higher systolic pressure (p<0.003). Participants with AR had larger aortic root diameters (3.6+/-0.4 vs. 3.4+/-0.4 cm, p<0.001), higher creatinine levels (1.3+/-1.3 vs. 1.0+/-1.0 mg/dl, p<0.001) and higher urine albumin/creatinine levels (3.6+/-2.3 vs. 3.3+/-2.0 log, p<0.001), as well as higher prevalences of aortic stenosis (AS) or mitral stenosis (MS) (p<0.001). Regression analysis showed that AR was independently related to older age and larger aortic roots (p<0.0001), AS and absence of diabetes (p = 0.002), MS (p = 0.003) and higher log urine albumin/creatinine (p = 0.005).
Conclusions: Aortic regurgitation occurred in 10% of a sample group of middle-aged to older adults and was related to older age, larger aortic root diameter, aortic and mitral stenosis and albuminuria. There was no association of AR with being overweight and a negative association of AR with diabetes.