Background: Epidemiologic studies suggest that women are at increased risk of developing heart failure secondary to hypertension. Other studies have documented sex differences in left ventricular systolic and diastolic function in the presence of pressure overload states such as seen in aortic stenosis and hypertension. It is less clear if sex differences are present among older persons with mild hypertension. Methods: One hundred seven healthy subjects, aged 55 to 75 years, with blood pressures ranging from 130 to 159 mm Hg systolic and/or 85 to 99 mm Hg diastolic, were examined by standard echocardiography and the newer modalities of tissue Doppler and color M-mode imaging. Results: Women had a lower peak mitral annular systolic velocity (Sm), 8.9 (95% CI 8.4-9.5) cm/s versus 10.2 (95% CI 9.6-11.0) cm/s, (P < .01) than men. Among women, increasing age was associated with a reduction in diastolic function. For every decade of age, peak early mitral annular diastolic velocity (Em) declined by 1.6 cm/s (P < .01), mitral inflow velocity of propagation (Vp) declined by 26% (P < .01), E/Vp ratio increased by 20% (P = .03), and E/Em ratio increased by 11% (P = .04) in women. No age-associated changes were seen in men. Conclusions: As revealed by newer echocardiographic imaging modalities, women with mild hypertension showed greater reductions in systolic and diastolic function as they aged compared with men. Our findings are consistent with the increased risk older women have of developing heart failure because of hypertension.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine