The Role of the Sympathetic Nervous System in the Control of Left Ventricular Mass in Hypertension
In the past, the electrocardiogram and the chest x-ray have been used in the diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with hypertension. The presence of signs of hypertrophy on the electrocardiogram or the presence of an enlarged heart on the chest x-ray were considered as an important prognostic marker of cardiovascular complications. In fact, data from the Framingham Study have revealed that the presence of cardiac hypertrophy is a more important risk factor than blood pressure itself (Kannel et al. 1970). The five year mortality rate increases with the presence of left ventricular hypertrophy from 7 to 38% in men and from 4 to 20% in women. The risk of clinical manifestations of cardiovascular disease also increases significantly with the presence of left ventricular hypertrophy on the electrocardiogram. Patients with hypertrophy more often had a myocardial infarction, angina, congestive heart failure, signs of occlusive peripheral vascular disease or cerebrovascular accidents than those without left ventricular hypertrophy (Kannel 1975). Successful antihypertensive therapy may lead to regression of signs of hypertrophy on the electrocardiogram (Freis 1980).
KeywordsMuscle Mass Left Ventricular Hypertrophy Sympathetic Nervous System Cardiac Hypertrophy Left Ventricular Mass
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