Background: Some studies have suggested that serial changes in left ventricular (LV) mass in hypertensive subjects predict the subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the prognostic impact of LV hypertrophy regression in hypertension.
Methods: We undertook a meta-analysis of studies that reported echocardiographic LV mass before and during antihypertensive therapy, with subsequent assessment of cardiovascular events. The aims of this meta-analysis were: 1) to compare subjects with LV hypertrophy (LVH) during treatment (persistence or new development of LVH) with those with LVH at baseline, but not during treatment (regression of LVH); and 2) to compare subjects with LVH at baseline, but not during treatment with those without LVH both before and during treatment (regression of LVH versus persistently normal LV mass).
Results: The four eligible studies included 1064 hypertensive subjects (41% women) aged 45 to 51 years who repeated the echocardiographic study 3 to 10 years after the initial examination. The definition of LVH was based on a LV mass corrected by body surface area >125 g/m(2) in two studies and >110 g/m(2) (for women) and 124 g/m(2) (for men) in two studies. Compared with subjects with lack of regression or new development of LVH, those with LVH regression showed a reduced risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease (odds ratio 0.41, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.78, P =.007). Compared with subjects with regression of LVH, those with persistently normal LV mass showed a similar risk of subsequent events (odds ratio 0.64, 95% CI = 0.31 to 1.30, P =.21).
Conclusion: Compared with persistence or new development of LV hypertrophy, regression of LV hypertrophy during antihypertensive treatment is associated with a marked reduction in risk for subsequent cardiovascular disease.