Geographic origin as a determinant of left ventricular mass and diastolic function - the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study

Scand J Public Health. 2018 Aug;46(6):630-637. doi: 10.1177/1403494818764782. Epub 2018 Mar 26.


Aims: Eastern Finns have higher risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and carotid intima-media thickness than western Finns although current differences in CHD risk factors are minimal. Left ventricular (LV) mass and diastolic function predict future cardiovascular events but their east-west differences are unknown. We examined the association of eastern/western baseline origin with LV mass and diastolic function.

Methods: The study population included 2045 subjects of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study with data from the baseline survey (1980) and the latest follow-up (2011) when echocardiography was performed at the age of 34-49 years.

Results: Subjects with eastern baseline origin had in 2011 higher LV mass (139±1.0 vs. 135±1.0 g, p=0.006) and E/e'-ratio indicating weaker LV diastolic function (4.86±0.03 vs. 4.74±0.03, p=0.02) than western subjects. Results were independent of age, sex, area of examination and CHD risk factors such as blood pressure and BMI (LV mass indexed with height: p<0.0001; E/e'-ratio: p=0.01). LV end-diastolic volume was higher among subjects with eastern baseline origin (135±0.9 vs. 131±0.9 ml, p=0.0011) but left atrial end-systolic volume, also indicating LV diastolic function, was not different between eastern and western subjects (43.4±0.5 vs. 44.0±0.5 ml, p=0.45). Most of the subjects were well within the normal limits of these echocardiographic measurements.

Conclusions: In our healthy middle-aged population, geographic origin in eastern Finland associated with higher LV mass compared to western Finland. Higher E/e'-ratio suggests that subjects with eastern baseline origin might have higher prevalence of diastolic dysfunction in the future than western subjects.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Echocardiography; Population; Risk Factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / epidemiology*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / epidemiology*