High risk blood pressure and obesity increase the risk for left ventricular hypertrophy in African-American adolescents

J Pediatr. 2013 Jan;162(1):94-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.06.009. Epub 2012 Jul 19.


Objective: To examine the relative effects of high blood pressure (HBP) and obesity on left ventricular mass (LVM) among African-American adolescents; and if metabolic or inflammatory factors contribute to LVM.

Study design: Using a 2 × 2 design, African-American adolescents were stratified by body mass index percentile (body mass index <95th percentile = non-obese; ≥ 95th percentile = obese) and average blood pressure (BP) (normal BP <120/80 mm Hg; HBP ≥ 120/80). Glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, lipids, and inflammatory cytokines were measured. From echocardiography measures of LVM, calculated LVM index (LVMI) ≥ 95th percentile defined left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).

Results: Data included 301 adolescents (48% female), mean age 16.2 years, 51% obese, and 29% HBP. LVMI was highest among adolescents with both obesity and HBP. The multiplicative interaction of obesity and HBP on LVH was not significant (OR = 2.35, P = .20) but the independent additive associations of obesity and HBP with log-odds of LVH were significant; obesity OR = 3.26, P < .001; HBP OR = 2.92, P < .001. Metabolic and inflammatory risk factors were associated with obesity, but had no independent association with LVMI. Compared with those with average systolic BP (SBP) <75th percentile, adolescents with SBP from the 75th percentile to 90th percentile had higher LVMI (33.2 vs 38.7 g/m(2.7), P < .001) and greater LVH (18% vs 43%, P < .001), independent of obesity.

Conclusions: Prevalence of LVH is highest among African-American adolescents with average BP ≥ 120/80 mm Hg and obesity. There also is an independent association of LVMI with BP, beginning at the 75th SBP percentile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / epidemiology*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / etiology*
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Risk Factors