Background: Rather unique amongst the prognostic predictors, microalbuminuria (MA, albuminuria: 15-200 microg min-1) is associated with several cardiovascular risk factors including left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). The relationship, usually assumed to reflect an increased blood pressure (BP) load on the heart and the kidney, may, however, represent more than a haemodynamic correlate.
Methods: To evaluate this possibility, we related MA to left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and other functional and structural echocardiographic parameters, office and 24-h BP, weight, lipids and smoking status in 330 never treated nondiabetic hypertensive men.
Results: The risk of MA increased linearly by ascending quartiles of LVMI and was 2.3-fold higher in the presence of LVH after adjustment for age, left atrial size, mean fractional shortening. Systolic BP, either office or 24 h, and smoking status were the only additional independent predictors in multivariate logistic regression models. The BP-adjusted risk of MA was about twofold higher in patients with LVH, either concentric or eccentric, and neutral in those with concentric remodelling compared with normal geometry.
Conclusions: The association between elevated LVMI and MA independent of several other potential confounders, systolic BP in particular, is consistent with the existence of cardiac albuminuric factors, possibly of hormonal nature, which are to be identified more precisely. The extent to which LVH explains the predictive power of MA for morbid events independent of the BP load remains unknown.