Data are reported on electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy (ECG LVH) among 8,012 men classified as hypertensive at baseline in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Compared with those allocated to the usual care (UC) control group, men allocated to the special intervention (SI) group experienced a mean reduction of 4 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure and 7 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure, over 6 years of follow-up. There were 378 new cases of ECG LVH during follow-up; the incidence in the SI group was about 23% less than that in the UC group (4.2 vs 5.4% 2P < 0.01). Among the 189 men with ECG LVH at baseline, those in the SI group experienced about 24% more annual follow-up visits at which they were free of ECG LVH (4.6 vs 3.7 visits; 2P < 0.01). This reduced incidence and increased reversal of ECG LVH in the SI group compared with that in the UC group was consistent with significant overall reductions (2P < 0.001) among SI men in mean wave amplitude in those leads in which voltage is correlated with left ventricular mass (T wave in V1, R wave in aVL and S wave in V3). In SI and UC groups combined, the presence of ECG LVH either at baseline or at follow-up was associated with several-fold increases in death from cardiovascular diseases in general, and death from coronary artery disease in particular. While mortality from cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, was not significantly different in SI and UC groups during follow-up, moderate though still potentially worthwhile benefits that might accompany the observed ECG changes cannot be excluded.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the Clinical Trials Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, the Divisions of Biometry and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. MacMahon was the recipient of an Overseas Research Fellowship from the National Heart Foundation of Australia. Manuscript received May 31, 1988; revised manuscript received September 26, 1988, and accepted September 30.