Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cardiac adaptation in elite female athletes

Date:
August 31, 2010
Source:
European Society of Cardiology (ESC)
Summary:
A study conducted in the UK has established the extent of cardiac adaptation amongst female athletes competing in a number of sports. Previous studies of cardiac adaptation have been conducted only on male athletes, yet a growing number of females participate at elite level in many sports, nowadays including some such as rugby and boxing that were traditionally undertaken only by males. The results show evidence of changes to the heart, particularly to ventricle wall thickness and cavity size.

A study conducted in the UK has established the extent of cardiac adaptation amongst female athletes competing in a number of sports. Previous studies of cardiac adaptation have been conducted only on male athletes, yet a growing number of females participate at elite level in many sports, nowadays including some such as rugby and boxing that were traditionally undertaken only by males.

Related Articles


The results, presented at the European Society of Cardiology's Congress 2010 in Stockholm, show evidence of changes to the heart, particularly to ventricle wall thickness and cavity size. In addition, the study considered whether ethnicity was a factor in the degree of measured cardiac adaptation.

The study was led by Professor Sanjay Sharma, of St. Georges University, London where he is Professor of Cardiology. He is also a member of the ESC's European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR), and Medical Director of the London Marathon. "Female athletes do not exhibit the same extent of cardiac adaptation as males. This is because they tend to be smaller and leaner with a lower body mass, and do not reach the same levels of exercise intensity," he says. "Also, due to the physical differences in chest wall morphology, the typical QRS complexes of females measured on a 12-lead ECG are much less pronounced. The purpose of this study was to determine what changes do occur in elite female athletes that undertake an intensive training regime."

The study has resulted in four findings:

  • Females that engage in regular sport show modest increases in left ventricular wall thickness and cavity size when compared to sedentary females
  • The magnitude of left ventricular wall thickness and cavity size is a function of many demographic factors including age and size, as well as the sport undertaken
  • In absolute terms, the realistic limits tend to be <11mm wall thickness and <60mm cavity size in Caucasian females
  • When these limits are exceeded, the cause is more likely to be a pathological condition such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or dilated cardiomyopathy

In order to extend the relevance of the findings to other ethnic groups, the study examined and investigated existing research but discovered that there is limited published data available. One report that compared Caucasian male athletes with African and Afro-Caribbean male athletes suggests that Caucasians have lower left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and a lesser prevalence of re-polarisation for very similar group demographics and sporting disciplines.

This finding was confirmed in very important work¹ that was recently published which compared around 200 nationally ranked female athletes from each of these two ethnic groups. Researchers established that black females selected from across 10 sporting disciplines exhibited a greater magnitude of LVH than their white counterparts. 3% of them showed a left ventricle wall thickness of >11mm (typically 12 to 13mm) whereas none of the white athletes exceeded 11mm. 15% of black athletes demonstrated re-polarisation changes compared with just 2% of the white athletes. The study concluded that standardised criteria derived from white athletes could unfairly discriminate against black athletes by leading to unnecessary investigation or even disqualification.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Rawlins, F. Carre, G. Kervio, M. Papadakis, N. Chandra, C. Edwards, G.P. Whyte, S. Sharma. Ethnic Differences in Physiological Cardiac Adaptation to Intense Physical Exercise in Highly Trained Female Athletes. Circulation, 2010; 121 (9): 1078 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.917211

Cite This Page:

European Society of Cardiology (ESC). "Cardiac adaptation in elite female athletes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100831082239.htm>.
European Society of Cardiology (ESC). (2010, August 31). Cardiac adaptation in elite female athletes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100831082239.htm
European Society of Cardiology (ESC). "Cardiac adaptation in elite female athletes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100831082239.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) — A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) — A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins