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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 Mar 01

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08259-2


language: English

Link between body cellular mass and left ventricular hypertrophy in female and male athletes

Gabriele MASCHERINI , Cristian PETRI, Giorgio GALANTI

Sports and Exercise Medicine Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinic Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy


BACKGROUND: Cardiac adaptation to intense physical training is determined by many factors. Differences between the sexes in the left ventricle parameters are well established, however, both sport activity and body composition seem to reduce them. In order to better explain some heart modifications, a first approach was to eliminate the fat mass from the indexing of the left ventricular parameters. Fat free mass also contains the extracellular mass which does not represent a metabolically active compartment. The aim of this study is to verify the differences between the sexes with a new left ventricular indexation with the metabolically active tissue of the body as body cell mass in elite athletes.
METHOD: 25 females were matched with 25 elite male soccer players (females=26.2±1.9 yrs, males=26.5±1.8 yrs; p=NS). An accurate body composition analysis (skinfold and bioimpedance) and an echocardiography were performed.
RESULTS: Differences between the sexes in body composition were confirmed in fat mass (fat mass index females=3.5±0.5 kg/m2, males=2.4±0.5 kg/m2, p<0.001), while no differences were found in the extra cellular mass index (females=7.3±1.1 kg/m2, males=7.5±0.5 kg/m2; p=NS). There are no differences in systo-diastolic parameters between sexes. Greater relationships were found between left ventricular mass and body cells (r=0.829, r2=0.686, COV=401.5) compared to fat free mass (r=0.819, r2=0.675, COV=344.7). Left ventricular dimensions show higher values in males who also have the following body cell indexation (females=128.2±15.8 g/m2, males=143.4±14.7 g/m2 ; p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Analyzing body composition in three compartments appears a solution that physiologically can explain some aspects of the athlete's heart. These results could be considered as preliminary data which can be used to create a new indexation.

KEY WORDS: Body composition - Bioimpedance - Athlete’s heart - Left ventricular mass - Echocardiography

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Publication History

Article first published online: March 01, 2018
Manuscript accepted: February 8, 2018
Manuscript revised: January 29, 2018
Manuscript received: October 10, 2017

Cite this article as

Mascherini G, Petri C, Galanti G. Link between body cellular mass and left ventricular hypertrophy in female and male athletes. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2018 Mar 01. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08259-2

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