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N Engl J Med. 1986 Feb 6;314(6):334-9.

The effect of weight reduction on left ventricular mass. A randomized controlled trial in young, overweight hypertensive patients.


We compared the effects of weight reduction, metoprolol, and placebo on M-mode echocardiographic measurements of the thickness and mass of the left ventricular wall in a 21-week, randomized controlled trial that enrolled 41 young, overweight patients with hypertension. At the end of the follow-up period, the patients in the weight-reduction group had lost an average of 8.3 kg, and their blood pressure had decreased by an average of 14/13 mm Hg, as compared with 12/8 mm Hg in the metoprolol group and 9/4 mm Hg in the placebo group. In the weight-reduction group, interventricular septal and posterior-wall thickness decreased by 14 percent and 11 percent, respectively, and left ventricular mass decreased by 20 percent (16 percent when adjusted for body-surface area). Decreases in interventricular septal and posterior-wall thickness and in left ventricular mass in the weight-reduction group were significantly greater than those in the placebo group. The changes in thickness of the interventricular septum and the left ventricular mass in the weight-reduction group were also greater than those in the metoprolol group. Changes in weight, independent of changes in blood pressure, were directly associated with changes in left ventricular mass. We conclude that weight reduction decreases left ventricular mass in overweight hypertensive patients and that control of obesity is important not only for the treatment of hypertension but also for the prevention of left ventricular hypertrophy.

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