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Abnormal blood pressure dipping pattern has been associated left ventricular hypertrophy among Africans with systemic hypertension. However, more studies are required to show whether abnormal blood pressure (BP) dipping patterns are associated with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in healthy normotensive patients. This study determined the association between BP dipping patterns and left ventricular hypertrophy among normotensive Nigerians.
This was a cross-sectional study in which 120 normotensive individuals with no co-morbidities had ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) and echocardiography. We defined extreme dippers, normal dippers, non-dippers and reverse dippers as nocturnal systolic BP decline of (≥ 20%), (10% to 19%), (0 to 9%) and (<0%) respectively.
Fifty-four (45%) were males, the mean age and body mass index were 37.0 ± 10.1years and 24.0 ±4.2 kg/m2 respectively. Sixty-nine (57.5%) were non-dippers and 71 (59.2%) had LVH. Reverse dippers had the highest left ventricular mass index, it was not statistically significant. Binary logistic regression showed age as the only predictor of left ventricular
hypertrophy (OR=1.055, 95% CI=1.004-1.109; p-value = 0.033).
A high prevalence of non-dipping pattern and left ventricular hypertrophy was found among apparently healthy Nigerian normotensives. Increasing age was the only predictor of LVH in our study population. Hence, ABPM and echocardiography are recommended to accurately assess cardiovascular risk in apparently healthy Nigerian normotensives.
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