Affiliations: [a] Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands
| [b] Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands
| [c] Department of Medical Statistics, Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands
Correspondence to: N.M. van de Velde, MD, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA Leiden, Postbus 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, Netherlands. Tel.: +003152662118; E-mail: N.M.van_de_Velde@lumc.nl.
Abstract: Background:Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by progressive cardiomyopathy. Left ventricular (LV) function may worsen by factors increasing LV afterload such as hypertension and obesity. Objective:To identify potential modifiable risk factors for progression of cardiomyopathy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Methods:We retrospectively analysed systolic blood pressures (SBP) and body-mass indexes (BMI) from 273 visits of 65 DMD patients aged 4–18 years between 2003 and 2016, divided in 14 age groups. Values were normalized using Z-scores (Z-SBP and Z-BMI). A linear mixed model was used to analyse correlations between Z-SBP and BMI, steroid use, age, ambulatory status and cardiac medication (CM) use. To study the relationship between SBP and BMI and myocardial deformation prior to the onset of clinical cardiomyopathy, LV deformation, defined by global longitudinal strain (GLS), was quantified in a subset of 36 patients <11 years. Multiple linear regression was used to study the relation between GLS and clinical parameters. Results:Median follow-up was 5 years. SBP was significantly elevated in all age groups under 14 years (p≤0.04) and 15–16 years (p = 0.033) and correlated positively with BMI (p = 0.001) and negatively with CM use over time (p = 0.018). Z-BMI followed a bell-shaped distribution and plotted approximately one standard deviation above the mean in patients between 7 and 15 years. In the subset of younger patients, reduced GLS was associated with higher BMI (β= 0.348, p = 0.004). Conclusions:SBP and BMI may be potentially modifiable factors to retard deterioration of LV function in DMD.