Aims: To assess the independent and combined effects of diabetes and hypertension on left ventricular (LV) diastolic function in a community-based cohort at high cardiovascular risk.
Methods and results: Two-dimensional echocardiography was performed in 708 subjects from the Cardiac Abnormalities and Brain Lesions (CABL) study. Peak diastolic early (E) and late (A) transmitral flow, and tissue Doppler-derived early mitral annulus velocity (E') were recorded, and E/A and E/E' ratios were calculated. The population was divided into four groups: those without hypertension or diabetes (HT-/DM-), those with only hypertension (HT), only diabetes (DM), and with hypertension plus diabetes (HT + DM). In multivariate analysis, hypertension and diabetes were independent predictors of worse diastolic function. The coexistence of hypertension and diabetes was associated with greater impairment of diastolic function (higher E/E' ratio than HT-/DM-, HT, or DM, all P < 0.05), independent of covariates. The negative, synergistic effect of hypertension and diabetes on LV diastolic function was present both in lean participants and in overweight/obese ones. An E/E' ratio >15, suggestive of increased LV filling pressure, was found in 2.2% of HT-/DM-, 8.9% of HT, 5.9% of DM, and 14.7% of HT + DM (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Hypertension and diabetes are independently associated with impaired LV diastolic function, independent of the effect of overweight/obesity and other covariates. Their coexistence results in a negative synergistic effect on LV diastolic mechanics and is associated with higher LV filling pressures than either condition alone.