Left ventricular hypertrophy can occur when some factor makes your heart work harder than normal to pump blood to your body.

Factors that can cause your heart to work harder include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension). This is the most common cause of left ventricular hypertrophy. More than one-third of people show evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy at the time of their diagnosis with hypertension.
  • Aortic valve stenosis. This disease is a narrowing of the tissue flap (aortic valve) that separates the left ventricle from the large blood vessel leaving your heart (aorta). The narrowing of the aortic valve requires the left ventricle to work harder to pump blood into the aorta.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This genetic disease occurs when the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, making it harder for the heart to pump blood.
  • Athletic training. Intense, prolonged endurance and strength training can cause the heart to adapt to handle the extra workload. It's unclear whether this athletic type of left ventricle hypertrophy can lead to stiffening of the heart muscle and disease.
June 06, 2015