Left ventricular hypertrophy. Its relationship to obesity and hypertension

Postgrad Med. 1992 May 15;91(7):131-2, 135-8, 141-3. doi: 10.1080/00325481.1992.11701350.


Hypertension and obesity are closely related. Obese patients tend to have increased intravascular volume and cardiac output and decreased total peripheral vascular resistance and plasma renin activity. Lean patients with essential hypertension usually have increased total peripheral resistance. Left ventricular adaptation in obesity consists of eccentric left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), regardless of the level of arterial pressure. Obesity and hypertension occurring together place a dual burden on the left ventricle and are associated with systolic and diastolic dysfunction, lipid abnormalities, insulin resistance, and a propensity for frequent, complex ventricular arrhythmias. Congestive heart failure and sudden death are common sequelae of obesity-hypertension and LVH. Treatment should include vigorous efforts at weight reduction and sodium restriction. Diuretics are ideal agents from a hemodynamic standpoint but often do not improve the total risk profile, with the possible exception of indapamide (Lozol). Calcium blockers may be ideal agents because of their favorable effects on both hemodynamics and total cardiovascular risk profile.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology*
  • Cardiomegaly / physiopathology
  • Cardiomegaly / therapy
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Ventricular Function, Left