Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Size, strength of heart's right side differs by age, gender, race/ethnicity

Date:
June 9, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
The size and pumping ability of the right side of the heart differs by age, gender and race/ethnicity, according to the first large imaging study of the right ventricle. Defining the right ventricular norms for different populations could aid in identifying abnormal right ventricle size and function. Abnormal right ventricle function may be a sign of conditions that involve both the heart and lungs.

The size and pumping ability of the right side of the heart differs by age, gender and race/ethnicity, according to the first large imaging study of the right ventricle.

Related Articles


The study, reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, also suggests that understanding the fundamental differences in the right side of the heart gives doctors and researchers a basis for determining what is abnormal. The researchers think that changes in right ventricle size and function may be a sign of cardiopulmonary disease (conditions that involve both the heart and lungs).

"The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen, so all types of lung diseases -- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and sleep apnea -- can affect the right side of the heart," said Steven Kawut, M.D., M.S., study author. "These results show underlying differences in people without clinical heart disease and could explain the variability of the right ventricular response in people with cardiopulmonary disease."

The researchers found that the right ventricle is:

  • smaller but pumps harder in older adults.
  • larger in men than women.
  • smaller in African-Americans and larger in Hispanics, compared with Caucasians.

In most studies on the heart, researchers have focused on the more-easily-imaged left ventricle, the region of the heart affected by systemic high blood pressure and other common conditions. Some of the relationships between gender, age and race/ethnicity found in the new study are different from what's known about the left ventricle. For example, the left ventricle increases in mass with age and is larger in African-Americans than Caucasians.

"It's not surprising that the relationships are different, since the right and left ventricles differ in their development in the embryo, their shape, and the area of the body they serve," said Kawut, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and director of the pulmonary vascular disease program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The researchers examined magnetic resonance images of the right ventricles of 4,204 men and women, average age 61.5, participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). MESA is a multicenter research project tracking the development of cardiovascular disease in 6,814 Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics and Chinese-Americans who did not have clinically-diagnosed heart disease at the beginning of the study.

Using norms derived from the study, 7.3 percent of the participants would be considered to have right ventricular hypertrophy and 5.9 percent to have dysfunction of the right ventricle.

If validated in future research, the norms can help physicians identify patients with abnormal right ventricle structure or function.

"If right ventricle abnormalities are found, it should heighten suspicion for underlying cardiopulmonary disease," Kawut said.

When the right ventricle loses its pumping ability, blood can back up into other areas of the body, producing congestion (right-sided heart failure). The new findings may help test effectiveness of treatments that could be developed for right ventricle dysfunction.

"This study is a first step, but we need to see how the right ventricle changes over five to 10 years in these 'normal' people, many of whom have COPD, sleep apnea and other common lung problems," Kawut said.

Co-authors are: João A.C. Lima, M.D.; R. Graham Barr, M.D., Dr.PH.;Harjit Chahal, M.D., M.P.H.; Aditya Jain, M.D., M.P.H.; Harikrishna Tandri, M.D., Ph.D.; Amy Praestgaard, M.S.; Emilia Bagiella, Ph.D.; Jorge R. Kizer, M.D., M.Sc.; W. Craig Johnson, M.S.; Richard A. Kronmal, Ph.D. and David A. Bluemke, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven M. Kawut, Emilia Bagiella, David J. Lederer, Daichi Shimbo, Evelyn M. Horn, Kari E. Roberts, Nicholas S. Hill, R. Graham Barr, Erika B. Rosenzweig, Wendy Post, Russell P. Tracy, Harold I. Palevsky, Paul M. Hassoun, Reda E. Girgis, and on behalf of the ASA-STAT Study Group. Randomized Clinical Trial of Aspirin and Simvastatin for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: ASA-STAT. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.015693

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Size, strength of heart's right side differs by age, gender, race/ethnicity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606161024.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, June 9). Size, strength of heart's right side differs by age, gender, race/ethnicity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606161024.htm
American Heart Association. "Size, strength of heart's right side differs by age, gender, race/ethnicity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606161024.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins