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Am J Cardiol. 1991 Sep 1;68(6):653-9.

Factors influencing Doppler indexes of left ventricular filling in healthy persons.

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Department of Medicine, Päjät-Häme Central Hospital, Lahti, Finland.


Ninety-three healthy persons aged 11 to 91 years were studied to assess the factors influencing Doppler indexes of left ventricular (LV) diastolic filling. The effects of physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking were tested in addition to those of age, sex, heart rate, body mass index, blood pressure, left atrial diameter, and LV end-diastolic diameter, wall thickness, mass and fractional shortening. The data were fitted stepwise into multiple linear regression models both in the total population and in 3 groups aged less than 40, 40 to 60 and greater than 60 years. In the total population, age explained 45 to 68% of the variation in the peak early and late diastolic velocities, their ratio, deceleration of the early velocity, atrial filling fraction and peak filling rate normalized to mitral stroke volume. With advancing age--and with increases in either body mass index, heart rate, diastolic blood pressure or LV mass--the indexes of early filling decreased, whereas with regular modest use of alcohol or regular aerobic exercise they increased (p less than 0.05 for all). In the middle-aged subjects, gender explained 32 to 57% of the variation in the peak atrial velocity, early to atrial peak velocity ratio and atrial filling fraction; the peak velocity ratio measured 1.4 +/- 0.3 (mean +/- standard deviation) in men vs 1.0 +/- 0.2 in women (p less than 0.001). In conclusion, many constitutional and physiologic factors and even life-style can influence the Doppler indexes of LV filling. This demonstrates the exquisite sensitivity of the method but indicates also that individual measurements must be interpreted with caution.

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