The female human heart at rest and during exercise: A review
Stöhr, Eric J.
Taylor & Francis
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Sexual dimorphism exists in numerous aspects of exercise physiology. One area that has long been debated is the potential of sex differences in cardiac structure and function. Anthropometric differences exist between males and females, and the relationship between absolute body size and cardiac structure dictate that men typically have larger hearts than women. However, increasing evidence suggests that males and females may also demonstrate different cardiac structure and function independent of body size, and it is likely that female sex hormones play a role in these differences. The purpose of this review is to draw together and examine the literature that has compared cardiac structure and function in men and women at rest and during exercise. We make specific reference to the influence of female sex hormones, and discuss the confounding effects of age and training status. Wherever possible, we provide conclusive remarks. Due to the paucity of data in this field, and general lack of consensus, the review concludes by making recommendations for future work.
European Journal of Sport Science;
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- Sport Research Groups 
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