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Am J Cardiol. 1992 Nov 1;70(13):1180-4.

Prognostic implications of subclinical left ventricular dilatation and systolic dysfunction in men free of overt cardiovascular disease (the Framingham Heart Study).

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Cardiovascular Division, Charles A. Dana Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.


To determine the prognostic significance of asymptomatic left ventricular (LV) dilatation and LV systolic dysfunction, 1,493 men who were free of symptomatic cardiovascular disease underwent M-mode echocardiography and were then followed for a mean of 4.15 years. At baseline examination, 170 men (11.4%) had an abnormally high end-diastolic LV internal dimension (> or = 56 mm) and 76 (5.1%) had an abnormally low fractional shortening (< or = 30%). During the follow-up period, 68 men experienced 92 cardiovascular disease events. After adjusting for age and traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors in proportional-hazards analyses, fractional shortening was a significant independent predictor of cardiovascular risk (relative risk [RR] = 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12 to 1.81, for decrease of fractional shortening by 4%). Increased risk was also associated with combinations of low fractional shortening and high end-diastolic internal dimension (RR = 3.77, 95% CI 1.59 to 8.93) and with low percent fractional shortening with LV hypertrophy (RR = 5.93, 95% CI 1.97 to 17.85). In conclusion, subclinical LV dilatation and LV systolic dysfunction, although uncommon in men free of overt cardiovascular disease, are associated with increased risk for new cardiovascular disease events.

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