Left ventricular hypertrophy and cardiovascular mortality by race and ethnicity

Am J Med. 2008 Oct;121(10):870-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.05.034.


Background: Left ventricular hypertrophy is a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality. The contribution of left ventricular hypertrophy to racial and ethnic differences in cardiovascular mortality is poorly understood.

Methods: We used data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and from the National Death Index to compare mortality for those with an electrocardiographic (ECG) diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy to those without left ventricular hypertrophy separately for whites, African Americans, and Latinos. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to control for other known prognostic factors.

Results: ECG left ventricular hypertrophy was significantly associated with 10-year cardiovascular mortality in all 3 racial/ethnic groups, both unadjusted and adjusted for other known prognostic factors. The hazard ratio for this association was significantly greater for African Americans (2.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.55-3.42) than for whites and Latinos (1.32; 95% CI, 1.14-1.76 and 2.11; 95% CI, 1.35-3.30, respectively), independent of systolic blood pressure.

Conclusions: ECG left ventricular hypertrophy contributes more to the risk of cardiovascular mortality in African Americans than it does in whites. Using regression of ECG left ventricular hypertrophy as a goal of therapy might be a means to reduce racial differences in cardiovascular mortality; prospective validation is required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Black or African American
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnosis
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / ethnology*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • United States / epidemiology