Paradoxical Higher Myocardial Wall Stress and Increased Cardiac Remodeling Despite Lower Mass in Females

A.I.H. Phua, T.-T. Le, S.W. Tara, A. De Marvao, J. Duan, D.-F. Toh, B. Ang, J.A. Bryant, D.P. O'Regan, S.A. Cook, C.W.L. Chin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Increased left ventricular (LV) mass is characterized by increased myocardial wall thickness and/or ventricular dilatation that is associated with worse outcomes. We aim to comprehensively compare sex-stratified associations between measures of LV remodeling and increasing LV mass in the general population. Methods and Results: Participants were prospectively recruited in the National Heart Center Singapore Biobank to examine health and cardiovascular risk factors in the general population. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance was performed in all individuals. Participants with established cardiovascular diseases and abnormal cardiovascular magnetic resonance scan results were excluded. Global and regional measures of LV remodeling (geometry, function, interstitial volumes, and wall stress) were performed using conventional image analysis and novel 3-dimensional machine learning phenotyping. Sex-stratified analyses were performed in 1005 participants (57% males; 53±13 years). Age and prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors were well-matched in both sexes (P>0.05 for all). Progressive increase in LV mass was associated with increased concentricity in either sex, but to a greater extent in females. Compared with males, females had higher wall stress (mean difference: 170 mm Hg, P<0.0001) despite smaller LV mass (42.4±8.2 versus 55.6±14.2 g/m 2, P<0.0001), lower blood pressures (P<0.0001), and higher LV ejection fraction (61.9±5.9% versus 58.6±6.4%, P<0.0001). The regions of increased concentric remodeling corresponded to regions of increased wall stress. Compared with males, females had increased extracellular volume fraction (27.1±2.4% versus 25.1±2.9%, P<0.0001). Conclusions: Compared with males, females have lower LV mass, increased wall stress, and concentric remodeling. These findings provide mechanistic insights that females are susceptible to particular cardiovascular complications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere014781
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by the National Medical Research Council.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.


  • cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging
  • left ventricular hypertrophy
  • myocardial wall stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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