Changes in left ventricular mass index (LVMI) may predict the likelihood of new-onset microalbuminuria (MA) in patients with newly diagnosed hypertension, Greek researchers found.

In a prospective study of 207 nondiabetic patients with normal urinary albumin levels, each 23.3 g/m2 increment in LVMI was associated with a 15% increased risk of new-onset MA, whereas LVMI reduction and blood pressure (BP) control each was associated with a 100% decreased risk of MA, according to an online report in the American Journal of Hypertension.

The study population of 132 men and 75 women had a mean age of about 51 years and baseline office BP of 148/96 mm Hg. The follow-up period was 3.3 years. At baseline and last follow-up visit, all patients underwent office and 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring, albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) determination, and echocardiographic assessment of LVMI.

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All patients received antihypertensive therapy during follow up. Eirini Andrikou, MD, and colleagues at the University of Athens, defined MA as an ACR between 20 and 300 mg/g for men and 30-300 mg/g for women and effective BP control as an office BP below 140/90 in 75% or more of visits. They defined LVMI reduction as a 15% of greater decline in LVMI at the end of follow-up compared with baseline.