Characterizing the hypertensive cardiovascular phenotype in the UK Biobank

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2023 Sep 26;24(10):1352-1360. doi: 10.1093/ehjci/jead123.


Aims: To describe hypertension-related cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) phenotypes in the UK Biobank considering variations across patient populations.

Methods and results: We studied 39 095 (51.5% women, mean age: 63.9 ± 7.7 years, 38.6% hypertensive) participants with CMR data available. Hypertension status was ascertained through health record linkage. Associations between hypertension and CMR metrics were estimated using multivariable linear regression adjusting for major vascular risk factors. Stratified analyses were performed by sex, ethnicity, time since hypertension diagnosis, and blood pressure (BP) control. Results are standardized beta coefficients, 95% confidence intervals, and P-values corrected for multiple testing. Hypertension was associated with concentric left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (increased LV mass, wall thickness, concentricity index), poorer LV function (lower global function index, worse global longitudinal strain), larger left atrial (LA) volumes, lower LA ejection fraction, and lower aortic distensibility. Hypertension was linked to significantly lower myocardial native T1 and increased LV ejection fraction. Women had greater hypertension-related reduction in aortic compliance than men. The degree of hypertension-related LV hypertrophy was greatest in Black ethnicities. Increasing time since diagnosis of hypertension was linked to adverse remodelling. Hypertension-related remodelling was substantially attenuated in hypertensives with good BP control.

Conclusion: Hypertension was associated with concentric LV hypertrophy, reduced LV function, dilated poorer functioning LA, and reduced aortic compliance. Whilst the overall pattern of remodelling was consistent across populations, women had greater hypertension-related reduction in aortic compliance and Black ethnicities showed the greatest LV mass increase. Importantly, adverse cardiovascular remodelling was markedly attenuated in hypertensives with good BP control.

Keywords: antihypertensive therapies; cardiovascular magnetic resonance; ethnicity; population health; women’s health.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biological Specimen Banks*
  • Female
  • Heart Atria
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / complications
  • Hypertension* / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / complications
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Function, Left