Objectives: This study examined the relations of echocardiographically determined left ventricular (LV) mass and hypertrophy to the risk of sudden death.
Background: Echocardiographic LV hypertrophy is associated with increased risk for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. However, little is known about the association of echocardiographic LV hypertrophy with sudden death.
Methods: We examined the relations of LV mass and hypertrophy to the incidence of sudden death in 3,661 subjects enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study who were > or =40 years of age. The baseline examination was performed from 1979 to 1983 and LV hypertrophy was defined as LV mass (adjusted for height) > 143 g/m in men and > 102 g/m in women. During up to 14 years of follow-up there were 60 sudden deaths. Cox models examined the relations of LV mass and LV hypertrophy to sudden death risk after adjusting for known risk factors.
Results: The prevalence of LV hypertrophy was 21.5%. The risk factor-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for sudden death was 1.45 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10 to 1.92, p=0.008) for each 50-g/m increment in LV mass. For LV hypertrophy, the risk factor-adjusted HR for sudden death was 2.16 (95% CI 1.22 to 3.81, p=0.008). After excluding the first 4 years of follow-up, both increased LV mass and LV hypertrophy conferred long-term risk of sudden death (HR 1.53, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.28, p=0.047 and HR 3.28, 95% CI 1.58 to 6.83, p=0.002, respectively).
Conclusions: Increased LV mass and hypertrophy are associated with increased risk for sudden death after accounting for known risk factors.