Do hypertensive individuals have enlarged aortic root diameters? Insights from studying the various subtypes of hypertension

S. Morteza Farasat, Christopher H. Morrell, Angelo Scuteri, Chih Tai Ting, Frank C.P. Yin, Harold A. Spurgeon, Chen Huan Chen, Edward G. Lakatta, Samer S. Najjar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Aortic root diameter (AoD) increases with aging and is related to body size. AoD is also presumed to increase in hypertension. In prior studies, however, after adjusting for age and body size, AoD did not differ between hypertensive and normotensive (NT) individuals. Hypertension is a heterogeneous condition with various subtypes that differ in pathophysiology and age distribution. We assessed whether AoD differs among subjects with the various subtypes of hypertension and nonhypertensive individuals. Methods: In 1,256 volunteers aged 30-79 years (48% women, 48% hypertensive; all untreated), AoD was measured at the sinuses of Valsalva with transthoracic echocardiography. Using cutoff values based on the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, subjects were identified as NT (23%), or prehypertensive (PH, 29%), or as having isolated diastolic (IDH, 6%), isolated systolic (ISH, 12%), or systolic-diastolic (SDH, 30%) hypertension. Groups were compared using analysis of variance with Bonferroni's correction. Results: AoD increased with age and body surface area (BSA) in both men (r = 0.25 and 0.19, respectively) and women (r = 0.30 and 0.22, respectively) (all P < 0.0001). In men, those identified as having IDH, ISH, and SDH each had a 6% larger AoD than NT individuals (all P < 0.05). In women, those identified with ISH and SDH had a 10 and 8% larger AoD than NT individuals, respectively (all P < 0.05). In both sexes, after indexing to BSA, only ISH individuals exhibited larger AoD compared with NT individuals (both P < 0.05). But, with further adjustment for age, these differences were no longer observed. Conclusions: Even when the subtypes of hypertension are examined separately, age and BSA, not hypertension status, account for the AoD differences between NT and hypertensive subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-563
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


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