, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 36-41

Genes for left ventricular hypertrophy

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Abstract

Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy is very common, particularly among hypertensives. The presence of LV hypertrophy profoundly affects morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and is now recognized as the most important predictor of chronic heart failure. Hypertension, obesity, and diabetes are important determinants of LV hypertrophy, but they fail to identify many individuals with the condition, suggesting that other factors, likely genetic in origin, play a role. Although much research has been undertaken to understand the causes of hypertrophy and the medical treatments that can lead to its regression, much remains unknown about its genetic basis. LV hypertrophy is considered a complex genetic disease, likely representing an interaction of several genes with the environment. The heritability of LV mass, measured as a quantitative trait, falls between 0.3 and 0.7 in different populations, suggesting it has a familial component. Genes encoding proteins involved in LV structure, as well as genes encoding cell signal transduction, hormones, growth factors, calcium homeostasis, substrate metabolism, and blood pressure are likely candidates for the development of common forms of LV hypertrophy. An overview of the pathophysiology of LV hypertrophy and dysfunction is provided, in addition to evidence of the genetic basis for LV hypertrophy in humans and animal models.