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Racial disparities in heart failure explained

Doctor speaking with older patient, both smiling

Researchers at UT Southwestern have uncovered evidence that the higher prevalence of “malignant” enlargement of the heart among blacks contributes to the higher incidence of heart failure in this population. The study was published online recently in the journal Circulation.

Left ventricular hypertrophy or LVH is the enlargement and thickening of the muscular wall of the left ventricle of the heart, the lower left chamber. This thickening can be detected on an electrocardiogram or with imaging tests like an echocardiogram.

“Malignant LVH is easily identifiable with widely used tests in the clinic, so now that we’ve found this association, we are hoping to identify patients with higher risk for heart failure earlier, when preventive interventions can have a greater impact on future risk,” said Dr. James de Lemos, Professor of Internal Medicine.

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