Do Left Ventricular Structure and Function Differ Between Strength-Trained Men and Women
Davies, Liam Rhys
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: The aim of this study was to compare the effect that chronic strength training has had on the left ventricular structure and function of strength-trained females and males. Previous research has shown strength training to result in many enlargements of LV structure and improvements in LV function, including: increased LV wall thickness, cardiac output, stroke volume and end-diastolic volume. Compared to the research that has focused on the trained male population, the literature available for strength-trained females and the effect that strength training has had on their hearts is limited. Methods: Twenty, healthy females (10 strength-trained [age 24 ± 4; height 162 ± 5; mass 61 ± 9] and 10 untrained [age 29 ± 3; height 160 ± 5; mass 58 ± 6]) were all measured for height, weight, resting blood pressure, a resting electrocardiogram and a resting echocardiographic examination. Additionally, resting data for 16 healthy, strength-trained males (age 26 ± 5; height 179 ± 5 cm; body mass 87 ± 8 kg) were also included into this study, courtesy of a fellow author. Results: Strength-trained male’s demonstrated significantly greater (P < 0.05) absolute stroke volume (65 ± 11), end-diastolic volume (104 ± 12) and cardiac output (4.1 ± 1) compared to both female groups. When these values were made relative to body surface area, strength-trained females demonstrated significantly greater stroke volume (44 ± 8) and end-diastolic volume (72 ± 16) compared to strength-trained males. No significant difference was found between the left ventricular structures of the two female groups. Conclusion: Strength training can result in improved LV function. However, the difference between males and females LV function may not be apparent as once thought. It is also suggested that strength-trained females may not experience the same magnitude of LV remodelling which has previously been reported for strength-trained males.
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