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Right Ventricle Function Differs With Age, Sex, and Race

Last Updated: June 07, 2011.

Right ventricular mass and volumes, and right ventricular ejection fraction differ significantly by age, gender and race/ethnicity in individuals who are free of clinical cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the June 7 issue of Circulation.

TUESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Right ventricular (RV) mass and volumes, and RV ejection fraction (RVEF) differ significantly by age, gender and race/ethnicity in individuals who are free of clinical cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the June 7 issue of Circulation.

Steven M. Kawut, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues investigated the demographic factors associated with RV morphology and function in a multiethnic sample, free of clinical cardiovascular disease. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 5,098 participants, and RV volumes and mass were accessible for 4,204 participants. A total of 4,123 adults, with an average age of 61.5 years, were included in the analysis. An allometric approach was used to derive normative equations for RV parameters.

The investigators found that older age correlated with lower RV mass (approximately 5 percent lower mass per decade), with men having significantly larger age-related decreases than women. There was an association between older age and higher RVEF, which differed significantly between races/ethnicities. Compared to women, men had significantly increased RV mass and larger RV volumes, but lower RVEF. Compared to Caucasians, Hispanics had a significantly higher RV mass and African-Americans had a significantly lower RV mass. Derived normative equations showed that the criteria for RV hypertrophy was met in 7.3 percent of participants and RV dysfunction in 5.9 percent of participants.

"Age, sex, and race are associated with significant differences in RV mass, RV volumes, and RVEF, potentially explaining distinct responses of the RV to cardiopulmonary disease," the authors write.

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