Objectives: We sought to compare the predictive value of echocardiographically determined left ventricular hypertrophy on death from all causes and cardiac mortality using various methods of indexation for left ventricular mass.
Background: Considerable controversy exists regarding the optimal method for indexing left ventricular mass to body size in the clinical setting.
Methods: The study included 988 consecutive patients who had both coronary angiograms and echocardiographic examinations in an inner-city public hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Patients were followed up for a mean of 7 years (range 2 to 11).
Results: Various left ventricular mass indexes (e.g., mass indexed for height, height2, height2.13, height2.7, body surface area and body surface area1.5 were highly correlated (r = 0.90 to 0.99). Used as a continuous measure, an increase in any left ventricular mass index was associated with similar risk of death from all causes and cardiac diseases. Although left ventricular hypertrophy assessed by mass indexed for body surface area using the published conventional partition values provided somewhat better prediction, the adjusted relative risk was in general not significantly different from hypertrophy based on other indexes. Patients with left ventricular hypertrophy defined concordantly by indexes based on both body surface area and height (or height2.7) had, by definition, the highest average mass indexes among all groups and experienced as much as a threefold greater risk of death than those without hypertrophy. A small proportion of patients (12%) who were classified into the hypertrophy group by height-based indexes alone, but not by body surface area, had a moderate increase in mass and showed no increase in risk, even though being overweight was extremely prevalent in this group.
Conclusions: Because of the high correlation among various body size indexes, left ventricular hypertrophy, defined by different indexes for left ventricular mass, similarly confers increased risk of mortality in patients with or without coronary artery disease.