Objectives: Our aim in this study was to determine whether increased left ventricular mass (LVM) is a risk factor for the development of a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
Background: Prior studies have shown that increased LVM is a risk factor for heart failure but not whether it is a risk factor for a low LVEF.
Methods: As part of the Cardiovascular Health Study, a prospective population-based longitudinal study, we performed echocardiograms upon participant enrollment and again at follow-up of 4.9 +/- 0.14 years. In the present analysis, we identified 3,042 participants who had at baseline a normal LVEF and an assessment of LVM (either by electrocardiogram or echocardiogram), and at follow-up a measurable LVEF. The frequency of the development of a qualitatively depressed LVEF on two-dimensional echocardiography, corresponding approximately to an LVEF <55%, was analyzed by quartiles of baseline LVM. Multivariable regression determined whether LVM was independently associated with the development of depressed LVEF.
Results: Baseline quartile of echocardiographic LVM indexed to body surface area was associated with development of a depressed LVEF (4.8% in quartile 1, 4.4% in quartile 2, 7.5% in quartile 3, and 14.1% in quartile 4 [p < 0.001]). A similar relationship was seen in the subgroup of participants without myocardial infarction (p < 0.001). In multivariable regression that adjusted for confounders, both baseline echocardiographic (p < 0.001) and electrocardiographic (p < 0.001) LVM remained associated with development of depressed LVEF.
Conclusions: Increased LVM as assessed by electrocardiography or echocardiography is an independent risk factor for the development of depressed LVEF.