Does alcohol consumption affect the relationship between aerobic fitness and the systolic function of the heart?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Aim: Exercise is known to affect both the morphological and functional properties of the heart. More aerobically trained individuals possess larger cardiac chamber dimensions and wall thicknesses than untrained individuals, however evidence is controversial as to whether these morphological differences translate to a difference in systolic function. Alcohol consumption, including the consumption of high quantities of alcohol in a short period of time (a 'binge drinking' pattern), is known to influence cardiac properties. However, there is little exploration into the combined effects of aerobic fitness and alcohol consumption upon the structure and function of the heart. Therefore the aim of this study was to explore whether alcohol consumption influences the relationship between aerobic fitness and systolic function in a population of trained and untrained University students. Methods: 11 males (age 20.8 ± 1.5 years) were recruited from a University population. Alcohol consumption (measured via the AUDIT questionnaire), fitness (quantified via 2 max) and systolic echocardiographic data were collected from all participants. Results: Correlational analyses revealed that a positive linear relationship existed between increased aerobic fitness and stroke volume, end diastolic volume and posterior wall thickness of the left ventricle (Pearson correlation coefficents 0.608, 0.696 and 0.623 respectively, all P < 0.05). A novel variable was created to assess the additional influence of alcohol consumption upon this relationship. It was found that cardiac parameters are related to 2 max but when alcohol consumption is factored into this analysis, the relationship disappears.Conclusion: These findings suggest that a lifestyle balance between fitness and alcohol consumption can influence the structure and function of the left ventricle.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE (INTERCALATED)
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