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Medicina dello Sport 2019 March;72(1):59-66

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.18.03220-9

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Is there a relationship between serum vitamin D level and cardiac autonomic function in athletes?

Murat YILDIRIM 1 , Arzu YILDIRIM 2, Gürhan DÖNMEZ 1, Haydar A. DEMIREL 1

1 Department of Sports Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey; 2 Department of Cardiology, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey


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BACKGROUND: Besides mortality, cardiac autonomic function is also associated with athletic performance and exercise tolerance. The relationship between cardiac autonomic dysfunction and vitamin D deficiency in healthy athletes is unknown, although it has been well described in healthy participants.
METHODS: Eighty-nine healthy volunteers (56 athletes and 33 sedentary control) participated in this randomized case-control study. Heart rate recovery indexes (HRR1, HRR2, and HRR3) were calculated by subtracting the one-, two-, and three-minute recovery heart rates from the peak rate during the exercise test (i.e., 85% of HRmax).
RESULTS: There were no correlations between serum vitamin D levels and any of the HRR indexes in either group. However, when the groups were divided according to their vitamin D levels, the HRR2 index in the control group was significantly lower in the low vitamin D group (<15 ng/mL) than in the high vitamin D group. HRR3 was found significantly higher in athletes (median 67.5 vs. 55, P=0.001) compared with the control subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the cardiac autonomic function was not affected by vitamin D deficiency in athletes, unlike in the sedentary control group. The positive effect of regular exercise on parasympathetic and sympathetic regulation may play a role in these findings.


KEY WORDS: Heart function tests - Vitamin D - Heart rate - Athletes

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