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BACKGROUND: Left ventricular mass (LVM) is an important predictor of cardiovascular risk. In adolescence, LVM is commonly indexed to height2.7, although some evidence suggests that this may not fully account for sex differences. METHODS: We investigated appropriate allometric scaling of LVM to height, total lean mass, and body surface area, in a UK birth cohort of 2039 healthy adolescents (17±1 years). Allometric relationships were determined by linear regression stratified by sex, following log transformation of x and y variables [log(y)=a+b×log(x)], b is the allometric exponent. RESULTS: Log (LVM) showed linear relationships with log(height) and log(lean mass). Biased estimates of slope resulted when the sexes were pooled. The exponents were lower than the conventional estimate of 2.7 for males (mean [95% CI]=1.66 [1.30-2.03]) and females (1.58 [1.27-1.90]). When LVM was indexed to lean mass, the exponent was 1.16 (1.05-1.26) for males and 1.07 (0.97-1.16) for females. When LVM was indexed to estimated body surface area, the exponent was 1.53 (1.40-1.66) for males and 1.34 (1.24-1.45) for females. CONCLUSIONS: Allometric exponents derived from pooled data, including men and women without adjustment for sex were biased, possibly due to sex differences in body composition. We suggest that when assessing LVM, clinicians should consider body size, body composition, sex, and age. Our observations may also have implications for the identification of young individuals with cardiac hypertrophy.

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adolescents, biomarker, body surface area, morbidity, overweight