Left ventricular hypertrophy is associated with obesity, male gender, and symptoms in healthy adolescents

Mohammad Reza Movahed, Adolfo Martinez, Jeff Greaves, Seaneen Greaves, Holly Morrell, Mehrtash Hashemzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Obesity has been found to be associated with left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (LVH). However, the occurrence of LVH in obese teenagers who are involved in sport programs has not been studied. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of LVH and its correlation with obesity, gender, and symptoms in teenage athletes. We used echocardiographic database of 1,500 adolescences between the ages of 12 and 20 years who were actively involved in school sport programs. We evaluated associations between obesity and LVH (defined as LV wall thickness (LVWT)) >12 mm, or LV mass (LVM) > 215 g or relative wall thickness (RWT) >0.43) and physical symptoms. Using univariate and multivariate analysis, male gender was associated with increased LVWT (multivariate odds ratio (OR) 4.87, confidence interval (CI) 2.41-9.82). Obesity was associated with parameters of LVH using univariate and multivariate analysis. (LVM > 215 g) occurred in 10.32% of obese athletes vs. 0.2% (1/445) of controls, (OR 51.33, CI 6.05-433.8), P < 0.001, LVWT >12 mm occurred in 16.5% of obese students vs. 3.6% of controls (OR 5.2, CI 2.7-10.1, P < 0.001), RWT >0.43 occurred in 41.4% of obese students vs. 15.7% of controls (OR 3.78, CI 2.11-6.76, P < 0.001). After adjusting for age and gender, reported history of shortness of breath (SOB), fatigue and leg edema were also significantly more prevalent in obese students and in students with LVH. In conclusion obesity is associated with LVH in a population of healthy teenagers actively involved in sport programs. Furthermore, the presence of LVH was independently associated with many physical symptoms suggesting negative effect of LVH on myocardial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-610
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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