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Cardiac Response to Exercise in Normal Ageing: What Can We Learn from Masters Athletes?

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 4 ]

Author(s):

A. Beaumont*, A. Campbell, F. Grace and N. Sculthorpe   Pages 245 - 253 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Background: Ageing is associated with an inexorable decline in cardiac and vascular function, resulting in an increased risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). Lifestyle factors such as exercise have emerged as a primary therapeutic target in the prevention of CVD, yet older individuals are frequently reported as being the least active, with few meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines. In contrast, well trained older individuals (Masters athletes) have superior functional capacity than their sedentary peers and are often comparable with young non-athletes. Therefore, the 'masters' athlete may be viewed as a unique non-pharmacological model which may allow researchers to disentangle the inexorable from the preventable and the magnitude of the unavoidable 'true' reduction in cardiac function due to ageing.

Conclusion: This review examines evidence from studies which have compared cardiac structure and function in well trained older athletes, with age-matched controls but otherwise healthy.

Keywords:

Systolic function, diastolic function, cardiac remodelling, healthy ageing, athletes, cardiac response.

Affiliation:

Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, University of the West of Scotland, G72 0LH, Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, University of the West of Scotland, G72 0LH, Department of Human Movement and Sports Sciences, Federation University, University Drive, Mt Helen, Ballarat, VIC 3350, Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, University of the West of Scotland, G72 0LH



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