Effects of obesity and race on left ventricular geometry in hypertensive children

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Background: Like left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), abnormal left ventricular (LV) geometry increases cardiovascular risk, but little data utilizing age and sex-specific norms are currently available on LV geometry in hypertensive children. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 141 hypertensive children aimed at determining the prevalence of LVH and abnormal LV geometry in the patient population and whether clinical characteristics associated with these findings differ by race. LVH was defined as an LV mass index of ≥95th percentile or cardiologist diagnosis. Abnormal geometry was defined as the presence of LVH or a relative wall thickness of >0.41. Results: The prevalence of LVH was 35 % overall. According to race, LVH prevalence was 49 % among African-Americans (AA) versus 30 % among non-AA (p < 0.05). Overweight/obesity was also highly prevalent among AA compared to non-AA (87 vs. 71 %, respectively; p = 0.03). After multivariable adjustment, the body mass index (BMI) z-score and 95 % diastolic blood pressure (BP) index were the sole independent predictors of LVH. Of the 141 hypertensive children, 40 % had abnormal LV geometry; 63 % among AA vs. 32 % among non-AA (p = 0.001). Multivariable analyses revealed a 3.8-fold increased odds of abnormal geometry among AA (p = 0.002). Conclusions: While LVH, abnormal geometry and overweight/obesity are more prevalent among AA hypertensive children, after multivariable adjustment, BMI and race were independently associated with LVH and abnormal geometry, respectively. This result suggests that both race and obesity have important roles in the development of end-organ damage among children with primary hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2015-2022
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • Ethnology
  • Heart
  • Hypertension
  • Hypertrophy
  • Left Ventricular
  • Obesity
  • Ventricular Remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nephrology


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