Objective. To examine the contribution of age, body size, and blood pressure to left ventricular mass (LVM) in childhood and develop a population-based reference of normative LVM data.
Methods. Age, sex, height, weight, and auscultatory systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured and an echocardiogram was performed to estimate LVM in 904 normal children, aged 6 to 16 years, in Muscatine, IA. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were determined to describe the degree of linear association between LVM and age, body size, and blood pressure. Age-sex-, weight-sex-, and height-sex-spedfic Z scores were determined for LVM, age, weight, height, and blood pressure. Sex-specific LVM prediction equations were derived using weighted-least-squares regression analysis.
Results. A strong positive linear association of LVM with age, weight, height, Quetelet index, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure was demonstrated. Z scores for eight different LVM quintile patterns revealed that age, height, weight, and blood pressure each exert an independent influence on LVM in children. Sex-specific predicted M-mode LVM and upper limits of the 90% prediction intervals based on age and height are presented.
Conclusion. Since age, height, weight, and blood pressure may each exert an independent influence on LVM in children, each factor must be considered when interpreting LVM in childhood. While age, sex, and height are unalterable, both weight and blood pressure can be modified. Thus the pathologic contribution of excess weight and blood pressure ought not be masked by statistical adjustments in reference values for LVM. Sexspecific values of LVM and the 90% and 95% prediction intervals of LVM that do not factor out the effects of obesity or blood pressure are presented. These provide the upper-limit reference values of LVM for the evaluation of children in whom increased LVM is suspected.
- Received May 28, 1992.
- Accepted April 30, 1993.
- Copyright © 1993 by the American Academy of Pediatrics