Association of left ventricular hypertrophy and stage of hypertension by ambulatory blood pressure monitor

Alisa A Acosta, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Hypertension in adults is defined by risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but in children, hypertension is defined using population norms. The diagnosis of hypertension in children and adolescents requires only casual blood pressure measurements, but the use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to further evaluate patients with elevated blood pressure has been recommended in the Fourth Report on the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents. The aim of this study is to assess the association between stage of hypertension (using both casual and 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure measurements) and target organ damage defined by left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in a sample of children and adolescents in Houston, TX. A retrospective analysis was performed on the primary de-identified data from the combination of participants in two, IRB approved, cross-sectional studies. The studies collected basic demographic data, height, weight, casual blood pressures, ambulatory blood pressures, and left ventricular measurements by echocardiography on children age 8 to 18 years old. Hypertension was defined and staged using the criteria for ambulatory blood pressure reported by Lurbe et al. [1] with some modification. Left ventricular hypertrophy was defined using left ventricular mass index (LVMI) criteria specific for children and adults. The pediatric criterion was LVMI2.7 > 95th percentile for gender and the adult criterion was LVMI2.7 > 51g/m2.7. Participants from the original studies were included in this analysis if they had complete demographic information, anthropometric measures, casual blood pressures, ambulatory blood pressures, and echocardiography data. There were 241 children and adolescents included: 19.1% were normotensive, 17.0% had white coat hypertension, 11.6% had masked hypertension, and 52.4% had confirmed hypertension. Of those with hypertension, 22.4% had stage 1 hypertension, 5.8% had stage 2 hypertension, and 24.1% had stage 3 hypertension. Participants with confirmed hypertension were more likely to have LVH by pediatric criterion than those who were normotensive [OR 2.19, 95% CI (1.04–4.63)]; LVH defined by adult criterion did not differ significantly in normotensives compared with hypertensives [OR 2.08, 95% CI (0.58–7.52)]. However, there was a significant trend in the increased prevalence of LVH across the six blood pressure categories for LVH defined by both pediatric and adult criteria (p < 0.001 and p = 0.02, respectively). Additionally, the mean LVM indexed by height 2.7 had a significantly increased trend across blood pressure stages from normal to stage 3 hypertension (p < 0.02). Pediatric hypertension is defined using population norms, and although children with mild hypertension are not at increased odds of having target organ damage defined by LVH, those with severe hypertension are more likely to have LVH. Staging hypertension by ambulatory blood pressure further describes an individual's risk for LVH target organ damage.

Subject Area

Surgery|Public health

Recommended Citation

Acosta, Alisa A, "Association of left ventricular hypertrophy and stage of hypertension by ambulatory blood pressure monitor" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454385.