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Am Heart J. 1996 Jan;131(1):81-8.

Parental hypertension and cardiac alterations in normotensive children and adolescents.

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MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


The objective of this investigation was the examination of the relation of left ventricular mass (LVM) and function with cardiovascular response to exercise in normotensive adolescents at risk for hypertension. Carried out was a prospective, cross-sectional study of 47 subjects (age, 10 to 18 years), who underwent dynamic and isometric exercise, 24-hour Holter monitoring, and echocardiography. Twenty-nine had normotensive parents (group 2, "at risk"). Both groups were similar for age, race, sex, body mass index, blood pressures, and resting heart rates. Group 2 had a higher E/A ratio (2.3 +/- 0.5 vs 2.0 +/- 0.5; p = 0.039) and higher heart rates during stage IV of dynamic exercise (188 +/- 20 beats/min vs 176 +/- 18 beats/min; p = 0.046). The LVM, 24-hour heart rates, and exercise systolic blood pressures (SBP) were similar in both groups. Only in group 2, SBP at peak dynamic and isometric exercise correlated best with LVM (r = 0.74, p < 0.002; r = 0.82, p < 0.001). It is concluded that altered hemodynamic regulatory mechanisms may exist before the establishment of hypertension in normotensive subjects with parental hypertension.

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