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Gender Differences in Hemodynamic Regulation and Cardiovascular Adaptations to Dynamic Exercise

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 1 ]


Pier P. Bassareo and Antonio Crisafulli*   Pages 65 - 72 ( 8 )


Exercise is a major challenge for cardiovascular apparatus since it recruits chronotropic, inotropic, pre-load, and afterload reserves. Regular physical training induces several physiological adaptations leading to an increase in both cardiac volume and mass. It appears that several genderrelated physiological and morphological differences exist in the cardiovascular adjustments and adaptations to dynamic exercise in humans. In this respect, gender may be important in determining these adjustments and adaptations to dynamic exercise due to genetic, endocrine, and body composition differences between sexes. Females seem to have a reduced vasoconstriction and a lower vascular resistance in comparison to males, especially after exercise. Significant differences exist also in the cardiovascular adaptations to physical training, with trained women showing smaller cardiac volume and wall thickness compared with male athletes. In this review, we summarize these differences.


Sex hormones, blood pressure, stroke volume, cardiac output, training, exercise.


University College of Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University Teaching Hospital, Dublin, Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, Sports Physiology Lab., University of Cagliari, Cagliari

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