Ageing induces left ventricular concentric remodelling in normotensive subjects

J Hypertens. 1995 Dec;13(12 Pt 2):1818-22.


Objective: To assess whether age affects left ventricular anatomy independently of age-related hypertension or concomitant heart diseases.

Design and methods: In 430 consecutive normotensive and clinically healthy subjects aged 16-85 years we obtained echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular posterior wall thickness, internal diameter, relative wall thickness, Penn mass index and systemic haemodynamics. The pulse pressure : stroke volume ratio was calculated as an estimate of systemic arterial stiffness. The subjects were divided into three age groups: < or = 40 (group 1, n = 137), 41-64 (group 2, n = 261) and > or = 65 years (group 3, n = 32).

Results: Systolic blood pressure increased from group 1 to group 3, as did the pulse pressure : stroke volume ratio and posterior wall thickness, whereas the left ventricular internal diameter was less in group 3 than in groups 1 and 2. The relative wall thickness increased from group 1 to groups 2 and 3, whereas the left ventricular mass index did not differ among age groups. Age was related positively to the systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure : stroke volume ratio, posterior wall thickness index and relative wall thickness, and negatively to the left ventricular internal diameter but not to the left ventricular mass index.

Conclusions: In healthy adults, relative wall thickness increases with age whereas left ventricular mass does not change. The concentric remodelling of left ventricular geometry parallels age-related stiffening of the arterial tree, elevation of systolic blood pressure and decrease in left ventricular volume. Thus partition values of relative wall thickness should be adjusted for age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors