Left atrial size in hypertensive men: Influence of obesity, race and age

John S. Gottdiener, Domenic J. Reda, David W. Williams, Barry J. Materson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Objectives. We sought to determine the relations of left atrial (LA) size to blood pressure, obesity, race, age and left ventricular (LV) mass in hypertension. Background. Although obesity, race and age may influence LV mass, their effects on LA size have not been defined in hypertension. Methods. Left atrial size was measured in 690 men (58% African-Americans) with mild to moderate hypertension (mean [± SD] blood pressure 152 ± 15/98 ± 6 mm Hg) and a high prevalence of LV hypertrophy. Effects of LV mass, adiposity, race, age, physical activity, height, weight, sodium excretion, plasma renin activity and heart rate were examined. Results. Left atrial size was greater (p ≤ 0.0001) in obese (44.2 ± 5.7 mm) than in overweight (41.6 ± 5.9 mm) or normal weight (38.9 ± 6.2 mm) patients. Left atrial enlargement (≤ 43 mm) was present in 56% of obese patients compared with 42% of overweight and 25% of normal weight hypertensive men. As age increased, white patients had a greater LA size than African-American patients. Although there was no relation between LV mass and LA size in normal weight patients, there was a significant positive relation in obese patients. On multiple regression analysis, obesity was the strongest independent predictor of increased LA size. Conclusions. Obesity is the strongest predictor of LA size in patients with hypertension and amplifies the relation between LA size and LV mass. Race influences effects of age and hypertension on LA size. Because increased LA size and LV mass (also influenced by obesity) are associated with an adverse outcome, these findings underscore the importance of obesity, race and age with regard to the cardiac effects of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-658
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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