Obesity in adolescence is associated with left ventricular hypertrophy and hypertension

Mohammad Reza Movahed, Sharon Bates, Deborah Strootman, Sudhakar Sattur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Obesity is a risk factor for hypertension (HTN) and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). However, the association between obesity, HTN or LVH in adolescents has not been studied in a large population. Method: Utilizing a database of screening echocardiograms, we assessed for the presence of LVH and HTN (defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) > 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) > 90 mmHg) in obese adolescents (BMI > 30) using univariate and multivariate analysis. Results: A total of 2072 subjects were identified between the ages of 13-19 years. LVH was significantly more prevalent in obese subjects (47/166 [28.3%] vs. nonobese subjects (99/1612 [6.1%]) with a P-value of <0.001. Using multivariate analysis adjusting for age, gender and blood pressure, obesity remained strongly associated with the presence of LVH (OR 4.51, CI: 2.83-7.19, P < 0.001). Elevated SBP and DBP were also strongly associated with obesity. SBP > 140 was present in 38% of obese subjects (54/142) versus 12.7% of nonobese subjects (172/1, 353). DBP > 90 was present in 10.6% of obese subjects (15/141) of versus 3.1% of nonobese subjects (42/1352). After adjustment for age, gender and LVH, obesity remained independently associated with HTN (for SBP > 140, OR 2.24, CI: 1.46-3.45, P < 0.001, and for DBP > 90, OR 2.10, CI: 1.063-4.17, P = 0.03). Conclusion: Obese adolescents have a significantly higher prevalence of HTN and LVH. Our analysis suggests a direct negative effect of obesity on cardiovascular function starting early in teenage years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-153
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • LVH
  • adolescents
  • echocardiography
  • hypertension
  • left ventricular hypertrophy
  • obese
  • overweight
  • screening
  • screening echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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