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International Angiology 2015 August;34(4):407-12


language: English

Differences in arterial stiffness and target organ damage between native Greek patients and immigrants from Eastern European countries with essential hypertension

Katsi V. 1, Varounis C. 2, Pavlidis A. N. 3, Alexopoulos N. 4, Vlachopoulos C. 5, Antoniades C. 6, Vamvakou G. 2, Tousoulis D. 5, Stefanadis C. 5, Kallikazaros I. 1

1 Cardiology Department, Hippokration General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece; 2 Attikon University Hospital, Athens, Greece; 3 London Chest Hospital, London, UK; 4 Athens Euroclinic, Athens, Greece; 5 First Department of Cardiology, Athens University Medical School, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, Greece; 6 Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


AIM: The variance in hypertension-related sequelae between different ethnic groups is highly related to differences in socioeconomic conditions and lifestyle habits, but also to disparities in the awareness and treatment of the disease. In the present study, we sought to evaluate the target organ damage in a vulnerable hypertensive population, such as the Eastern European immigrants.
METHODS: The study population consisted of 128 hypertensive patients: 67 immigrants from Eastern Europe and 61 native inhabitants. Anthropometric, biochemical and echocardiographic data were derived from both groups. Both groups underwent fundoscopic examination and pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurements for assessment of arterial stiffness.
RESULTS: Although immigrants had lower body mass index compared to native inhabitants (P<0.001), they had significantly increased arterial stiffness (P=0.003). In multivariate analysis, higher carotid-femoral PWV was significantly associated with immigration status [β (SE)=0.935(0.443), P=0.041], after adjustment for smoking status. Moreover, immigrants had increased left atrial volume index (LAVI) (P<0.001), left ventricular mass index (P<0.001) and higher rates of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (p=0.047). In multivariate analysis, LAVI was significantly associated with immigration status (β (SE)=5.17(1.93), P=0.01) after adjustment for serum glucose levels and age. Finally, immigrants had significantly higher levels of sodium urinary excretion (p=0.007) and lower glomerular filtration rate (P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that hypertensive immigrants exhibit an aggravated arterial stiffness profile and increased risk of target organ damage. These findings could be attributed to differences in socioeconomic conditions and dietary habits.

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