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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 June;59(6):1085-92

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.09164-8

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Acute and chronic effects of soccer game on the retinal vessel diameters in middle-aged adults

Rima SOLIANIK 1, 2 , Vytautas STRECKIS 1, 3, Daiva IMBRASIENE 2, Alvydas PAUNKSNIS 4

1 Institute of Sports Science and Innovations, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania; 2 Department of Applied Biology and Rehabilitation, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania; 3 Department of Trainings Systems, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania; 4 Telemedicine Research Center, Kaunas, Lithuania



BACKGROUND: Although changes in retinal vessel diameter is a new biomarker for the evaluation of cardiovascular risk factors, limited information is available regarding the effects of endurance exercises on retinal microcirculation. Thus, we aimed to evaluate both chronic and acute effects of soccer game on the diameters of retinal vessels in middle-aged players.
METHODS: Retinal vessel diameters were measured in 12 middle-aged amateur players (44.4±7.0 years of age) with more than four years of soccer playing experience and 12 age-matched sedentary adults (49.7±7.1 years of age). In soccer players, diameters were also measured immediately after the soccer game. Cardiovascular risk profiles (anthropometry and body composition and blood pressure [BP]) and physical activity levels were also measured.
RESULTS: Soccer players had wider retinal vessels than controls (P<0.05), resulting in greater arteriolar-to-venular diameter ratio (AVR) (P<0.05). Greater sports-related physical activity, lower body mass index (BMI) and fat mass were observed for soccer players compared to the controls (P<0.05), whereas BP did not differ. Physical activity level correlated positively with temporal retinal arteriolar (TRA) diameter and with AVR (P<0.05), whereas TRA diameter correlated negatively with BMI and fat mass (P<0.05). A significant correlation between temporal retinal venule (TRV) diameter and TRA diameter (P<0.05) was observed. The acute soccer game increased BP (P<0.05) and induced TRV dilatation (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In middle-aged amateur soccer players, improvement of the retinal microcirculation was observed. Cardiovascular risk factors and physical inactivity were associated with adverse retinal microvascular alterations. In terms of acute effects, soccer play causes venular, but not arteriolar dilatation for middle-aged adults.


KEY WORDS: Exercise; Retina; Microcirculation; Soccer

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