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7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Austria

Characteristics of the athlete’s heart and the blood pressure in triathlon competitors

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Gábor Pavlik - Semmelweis University, Faculty of P.E. and Sports Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • Zsuzsanna Major - Semmelweis University, Faculty of P.E. and Sports Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • Zsuzsanna Kneffel - Semmelweis University, Faculty of P.E. and Sports Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • Zsolt Komka - Semmelweis University, Faculty of P.E. and Sports Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • Barbara Varga-Pintér - Semmelweis University, Faculty of P.E. and Sports Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • Miklós Tóth - Semmelweis University, Faculty of P.E. and Sports Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm083

DOI: 10.3205/11esm083, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm0834

Published: October 24, 2011

© 2011 Pavlik et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Outline

Text

Objective: Extremely long distance competitions (triathlon, marathon running, duathlon, ironmen) became more and more popular during the last decades both as top-level sport and as leisure-time activity. To investigate the triathletes’ heart and blood pressure seemed to be especially interesting in two main causes. 1.) Endurance training is known to be the most suitable to develop the athlete’s heart, it is interesting to investigate it in such an ultra endurance group. 2.) In our recent investigations [1] it was found that cycle racers and aquatic athletes have slightly higher blood pressure (BP) than the other athletes and the triathlon contains both activities.

Material/Methods: Resting BP, 2D guided M-mode, transmitral Doppler and tissue Doppler echocardiographic data of 76 male top-level triathlon competitors of both gender were compared with data of age matched non-athletes (N=162) and of other athletes (N=1188, power athletes, sprinters-and-jumpers, dry-land ball-game and water polo players, swimmers, runners and cyclists).

Results: Triathlon competitors showed high but not the highest relative aerobic power (males 67.5±6.4, females 54.5±5.0 ml/kg). BP was found relatively high but it was in normal range. In the males (130±14/76±7 mmHg) cyclists, power athletes, non-athletes and water polo players, in the females (124±13/78±13 mmHg) synchronized swimmers and pentathlonists only showed higher values. Left ventricular hypertrophy was smaller than in the water polo players and endurance athletes, the muscular quotient (wall thickness/internal diameter) was slightly higher, indicating a small extent of concentric type hypertrophy. E/A quotient (indicating diastolic function) was relatively high, resting heart rate (expressing autonomous regulation) was nearly the lowest among the different groups, indicating a high fitness level.

Conclusion: Complex, ultra endurance athletes, namely triathlon competitors show a high level endurance fitness. Blood pressure elevating effect of cycling and swimming seems to be diminished by the running. The moderate intensity of the extremely long competitive issues seems to impede the development of very extensive left ventricular hypertrophy.


References

1.
Varga-Pintér B, Horváth P, Kneffel Zs, Major Zs, Osváth P, Pavlik G. Resting blood pressure values of adulth athletes. Kidney and Blood Pressure Research. 2011;34:387-95.