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Romanian Society for Sports Medicine

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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.38 - 2014
ARTICLE – abstract

A cross-sectional study for the relationship of left atrial remodelling with body composition and body surface area in athletes of various sports

Kulroop Kaur
Sports Medicine Department, MBBS, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab,India


Introduction. The significance and prevalence of left atrial enlargement in athletes on endurance, strength and combined (endurance and strength) training is unresolved. The present study was done with aim to assess relationship between left atrial remodelling with body surface area and body composition and to compare the results in athletes and non athletes.
Material and Method. We assessed left atrial and left ventricular dimension in competitive athletes of various sports under endurance (22 long distance runners, 16 cyclists, 12 swimmers), strength (32 wrestlers, 10 weight lifters) and combined (endurance and strength) trained (25 hockey players, 21 football players, 20 basketball players and 20 volleyball players) in the age group of 18 -25years of age.
Results. The left atrial enlargement was observed in all athletes as compared to non athletes. Body surface area and body composition did not relate to the left atrial enlargement but multivariate regression analysis showed that left atrial enlargement in athletes was largely explained by the left ventricular cavity enlargement (R2=0.52) and participation in sports and minimally to body size and measurements.
Conclusion. It can be concluded that in the population of differently trained athletes, enlarged atrial dimension was relatively common with the upper limit (>40mm) not being crossed in this age group distinguishing physiologic cardiac remodeling (athlete’s heart) from pathologic cardiac diseases. Atrial fibrillation was found to be uncommon in this age group. Left atrial remodeling in athletes may be regarded as a physiologic adaptation to exercise conditioning, largely without adverse clinical consequences.
Key words:

athlete’s heart, cardiac diseases, exercise conditioning

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