BACKGROUND: Accurate age- and sex-related normal reference values of ventricular structure and function are important to determine the level of dysfunction in patients. The aim of this study therefore was to document normal age range sex-related measurements of LV structural and functional measurements to serve such purpose.
METHODS: We evaluated left ventricular structure and function in 293 healthy subjects between 20 and 90 years with equally distributed gender. Doppler echocardiography was used including measure of both systolic and diastolic functions.
RESULTS: Due to systolic LV function, only long axis function correlated with age (r = 0·55, P<0·01) and the correlation was stronger in females. Concerning diastolic function, there was a strong age correlation in all parameters used (r = 0·40-0·74, P<0·001). Due to LV structural changes over age, females showed a larger reduction in end-diastolic volumes, but no or trivial difference in wall thickness after the age of 60 years.
CONCLUSION: Age is associated with significant normal changes in left ventricular structure and function, which should be considered when deciding on normality. These changes are related to systemic arterial changes as well as body stature, thus reflecting overall body ageing process. Furthermore, normal cardiac ageing in females might partly explain the higher prevalence of heart failure with preserved ejection in females.