BACKGROUND: Hypertrophy of the left ventricle (LV) has recently been associated with adverse changes of brain structure in older adults, notably increased burden of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs). Whether greater LV size or mass is also related to WMH burden in middle-aged adults is currently unclear. In addition, its relation with alterations in cortical thickness (CT) has not been studied to date. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data from 1602 participants of the population-based SHIP (Study of Health in Pomerania) with LV ejection fraction >40% and no history of myocardial infarction were included (aged 21–82 years; median age, 49 years; 53% women). Participants underwent both echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging of the head. Imaging markers of brain aging (ie, CT and WMH volume) were determined from magnetic resonance imaging scans. LV mass and diameter were associated with lower global CT and greater WMH volume, while adjusting for age, sex, body height, fat-free body mass, and intracranial volume. Moreover, thicknesses of the interventricular septum and posterior wall were also associated with lower global CT. These associations could not be explained by cardiovascular risk factors (including hypertension), inflammatory markers, or sociodemographic factors. Regional analyses showed distinct spatial patterns of lower CT in association with LV diameter and posterior wall thickness. CONCLUSIONS: LV diameter and mass are associated with lower global and regional CT as well as greater WMH burden in the general population. These findings highlight the brain structural underpinnings of the associations of LV hypertrophy with cognitive decline and dementia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine