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Diastolic Function Worse in Hypertensive Blacks

Study shows lower mean early diastolic velocity and higher transmitral early filling velocity

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hypertension, diastolic function is significantly worse in African-Caribbeans than in white Europeans, according to the results of a study published in the Sept. 16 issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Andrew Sharp, of St. Mary's Hospital and Imperial College London, U.K., and colleagues used conventional and tissue Doppler echocardiography to assess 509 patients, including 449 white Europeans and 60 African-Caribbeans.

Compared to white Europeans, the researchers found that African-Caribbean patients had a significantly lower mean early diastolic velocity (7.7 cm/s versus 8.6 cm/s) and a significantly higher transmitral early filling velocity (8.85 versus 7.93). After adjusting for age, gender, systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, cholesterol, smoking, ejection fraction, left ventricular mass index and diabetes, they still found a significant association between African-Caribbean ethnicity and diastolic function.

"The existence of intrinsic racial/ethnic differences in ventricular structure and function may not be entirely provable without appositely designed genomic studies," states the author of an accompanying editorial. "Short of that, the best chance to further clarify the possibility of racial/ethnic differences may reside in population-based studies of healthy persons, in whom any changes in ventricular structure and function may be detected at a much earlier stage and with a smaller chance of interference by confounding factors."

The main source of funding for the study was Pfizer.

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