Sex-related differences in clinical, electrocardiographic, and echocardiographic indices among normotensive offspring of black parents with hypertension.

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Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria


Context: Blood pressure tracking has suggested that the difference in blood pressure between women and men begins to manifest during the adolescent period. It is therefore postulated that sex-related cardiac structural and functional differences that could predict future events may exist in the heart of offspring of parents with hypertension. Aims: This study aimed at evaluating the effects of sex difference on the heart of offspring of parents with hypertension. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study. Participants and Methods: A group of offspring of parents with hypertension aged between 15 and 25 years were recruited for the study if they had normal blood pressure and gave consent. They had clinical, electrocardiography, and echocardiographic assessments. Results: Sixty-five participants consisting of 47 males and 18 females participated in the study. Mean systolic blood pressure was higher (P = 0.001) in the males compared with the females but the diastolic blood pressure was similar between them. Electrocardiogram (ECG) parameters (heart rate, QRS axis and QTc) were similar between the males and the females but the summation of ECG voltage (SV2 + RV6) was higher in the former than the latter. Left ventricular (LV) posterior wall (P = 0.001), aortic root diameter (P = 0.014), LV mass (P = 0.001), LV mass index (P = 0.001), and relative wall thickness (P = 0.003) were higher in the male compared with the female participants, respectively. However, more females (72.2%) had normal LV geometry compared with the males, P = 0.03. Conclusion: There are subtle clinical, electrocardiographic, and echocardiographic differences between the heart of male and female offspring of parents with hypertension with the former having more precursors of future cardiovascular events.



Blood pressure, left ventricular mass, offspring, parents with hypertension, sex differences


Sub-Saharan African Journal of Medicine 4 (4):102-107.