PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Clinical Medicine - Posters A

Cardiovascular Adaptation in a Large Cohort Across the Physical Activity Spectrum: A Comprehensive Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Study

Liliana Szabo, Semmelweis University Heart and Vascular Center, Budapest, Hunagry
Vencel Juhasz, Semmelweis University Heart and Vascular Center, Budapest, Hunagry
Dorottya Balla, Semmelweis University Heart and Vascular Center, Budapest, Hunagry
Zsofia Dohy, Semmelweis University Heart and Vascular Center, Budapest, Hunagry
Hajnalka Vago, Semmelweis University Heart and Vascular Center, Budapest, Hunagry

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Cardiovascular adaptation to physical activity is well-established in highly trained athletes but less well-described in recreational athletes. Furthermore, males and females may adapt differently to physical activity. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is a valuable tool for assessing cardiovascular adaptation due to its ability to provide comprehensive information on cardiac morphology and function.

Aims: To assess sex-specific cardiovascular adaptations in a large cohort of healthy individuals and to evaluate the associations of sport exposure with CMR parameters.

Methods: A total of 655 participants (409 males and 246 females), including 458 highly trained athletes (exercising >6 hours/week) and 197 less active controls, from which 115 recreational athletes (3-6 hours/week), and 82 sedentary individuals (<3 hours/week), underwent CMR imaging. Cine movie short- and long-axis images were obtained, and contours were drawn to measure volumes, mass, function, and strain. Linear regression models adjusted for age and sex were used to estimate the associations of sport exposure with CMR parameters.

Results: Both male and female athletes had significantly higher LV, RV volumes, mass, and wall thickness, decreased ejection fraction and increased GLS and GCS at rest compared to less active individuals (males: GLS -20.9 ± 2.6 vs -22.3 ± 2.5%; GCS -29 ± 4.6 vs -30.6 ± 4%). In sex- and age-adjusted linear models, recreational athletes exhibited signs of cardiovascular adaptation. We found a positive association with volumes albeit with smaller effect sizes than highly trained athletes (LVEDVi: recreational coef 6.7; highly trained coef 24.7, p<0.001). Global functional parameters showed no change for recreational athletes; however, subtle strain measures showed a significant effect, including a decreased LV standard deviation of the longitudinal strain during systole and an increased LV strain rate suggesting an altered and potentially more effective cardiac contraction pattern in recreational athletes compared to sedentary individuals.

Conclusion: This study provides insights into cardiovascular adaptation across the physical activity spectrum in a large cohort. It emphasizes the need for updated sex-specific reference ranges, particularly for recreational athletes who show distinct patterns of adaptation compared to sedentary individuals.
Funding: „SUPPORTED BY THE ÚNKP-22-4-I NEW NATIONAL EXCELLENCE PROGRAM OF THE MINISTRY FOR CULTURE AND INNOVATION FROM THE
SOURCE OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION FUND.”