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Hypertension. 2004 May;43(5):957-62. Epub 2004 Mar 8.

Relations of serum aldosterone to cardiac structure: gender-related differences in the Framingham Heart Study.

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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, Bethesda, Md, USA.


Aldosterone is associated with myocardial fibrosis in experimental studies and with left ventricular remodeling in heart failure patients. We hypothesized that aldosterone influences ventricular remodeling in people without congestive heart failure in the community. We examined the relations between serum aldosterone and echocardiographic left ventricular measurements in 2820 Framingham Study subjects (mean age 57 years, 58% women, 88% white) free of myocardial infarction and overt heart failure. Serum aldosterone levels were higher in women compared with men. In linear regression models (adjusted for age, systolic blood pressure, weight, height, diabetes, heart rate, hypertension treatment, and ethnicity), left ventricular wall thickness and relative wall thickness were positively related, and left ventricular diastolic dimensions were inversely related to serum aldosterone in women (P<0.05 for all), but not in men (P>0.20 for all). There was no effect modification of the relations observed in women by menopausal status. The gender-related differences in relations of serum aldosterone to relative wall thickness were consistent across subgroups defined on the basis of sex-specific median values of systolic blood pressure and body mass index. Fractional shortening, left ventricular mass, and left atrial dimensions were not related to serum aldosterone in either sex. In conclusion, in our community-based sample of individuals free of myocardial infarction and heart failure, serum aldosterone was positively associated with a left ventricular geometric pattern suggestive of concentric remodeling (increased left ventricular wall thickness and relative wall thickness but decreased internal dimensions) in women but not in men. Additional investigations are warranted to confirm these findings.

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