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Am J Cardiol. 2003 May 15;91(10):1195-8.

Relation of left ventricular thickness to age and gender in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407, USA.


Left ventricular (LV) wall thickening is the most consistent clinical marker of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC), and characteristically increases substantially during adolescence. In this study, we used 2-dimensional echocardiography to develop a cross-sectional profile of LV wall thicknesses in adult patients with HC. We studied a regional community-based cohort of 239 consecutively enrolled patients (aged 18 to 91 years). On average, maximum LV wall thickness decreased relative to increasing age (p = 0.007) within 4 age groups: 22.8 +/- 5.1 mm (18 to 39 years) to 22.1 +/- 5.1 mm (40 to 59 years) to 21.1 +/- 3.7 mm (60 to 74 years) to 20.8 +/- 3.6 mm (>or=75 years). The LV thickness index (summation of wall thicknesses in all 4 segments) also decreased with age (p = 0.017): 63.0 +/- 12.2 mm to 59.8 +/- 11.9 mm to 58.3 +/- 10.4 mm to 57.9 +/- 9.8 mm. Decreasing magnitude of LV hypertrophy was independently associated with increasing age, but not with other relevant disease variables, such as symptoms and outflow obstruction. However, when separated by gender, this inverse relation between age and LV wall thickness was statistically significant only for women (p = 0.007). In conclusion, in an unselected HC cohort, cross-sectional analysis showed a modest but statistically significant inverse relation between age and LV hypertrophy that was largely gender-specific for women. This association constitutes another facet of the natural history of this complex and heterogenous disease and may reflect disproportionate occurrence of premature death in young patients with HC with marked hypertrophy or possibly gradual LV remodeling.

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