LV hypertrophy may be common in former NFL players
NEW ORLEANS — Some former professional football players continued to have left ventricular hypertrophy regardless of the amount of time that they were detrained, according to data presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session.
“Because of their years of athletic training at the most elite level, there tends to be an expectation that former professional players would have fewer cardiovascular issues, but there’s a growing body of research that suggests that’s not the case,” Genevieve E. Smith, PhD, faculty instructor at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, said in a press release. “Our study suggests we need to be vigilant in monitoring players’ cardiovascular health, because we don’t yet truly understand the long-term consequences of high-performance athletics.”
Researchers analyzed data from 1,172 patients who were former professional football players. Data included in this assessment included BP, demographics, 2D echocardiography and anthropometry. A LV mass index was obtained by indexing LV mass with body surface area.
Of the patients in this study, 12.3% had LV hypertrophy. The position that the patient played had an effect on the prevalence of LV hypertrophy (P = .0388), although this was not seen for age (P = .0846).
Patients with severe LV hypertrophy had higher BP vs. those with a normal LV mass index (P = .0059). Those with hypertension were more likely to have LV hypertrophy (P = .0753). The prevalence of LV hypertrophy was not affected by the type of LV hypertrophy (P = .2152) or detraining time (P = .1443).
“Further research is warranted to understand the clinical consequences of this factor on potential cardiovascular risk later in life,” Smith and colleagues wrote.
– by Darlene Dobkowski
Smith GE, et al. Noninvasive Imaging: Sports and Exercise 1. Presented at: American College of Cardiology Scientific Session; March 16-18, 2019; New Orleans.
Disclosure: Smith reports no relevant financial disclosures.