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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 111-114

Structural and functional adaptations to exercise: Echocardiographic findings among professional footballers on routine screening among Nigerians - A view of athletes' heart


Department of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and Lautech Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Akintunde A Adeseye
P. O. Box - 3238, Osogbo
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0189-7969.152003

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Introduction: Prolonged professional exercises such as it occurs among professional footballers are associated with functional and structural cardiac changes. It may also worsen already existing cardiovascular abnormalities. Reports are scarce on the pattern of echocardiographic changes among professional footballers in Nigeria. This study aimed to describe the structural and functional changes among Professional Footballers undergoing routine pre-season screening in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Forty-nine active top-division club members of a Division 1 Football Club in Nigeria who had echocardiography were compared to 24 age- and sex-matched controls. They had 2-D, M-mode and Doppler echocardiography. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS 17.0. Results: The mean age of the footballers was 22.2 ± 6.3 years and they were well matched with the controls in age. All of them were males. Echocardiographic parameters were significantly different between professional footballers and controls. The left ventricular internal dimension in diastole, left ventricular posterior and septal wall thicknesses, right ventricular dimension, left atrial dimension and aortic root dimension were significantly higher among footballers than age-matched controls. Prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy (67.3% vs. 16.7%, P < 0.05), RVD > 28 mm (49% vs. 4.2%, P < 0.05), LAD > 40 mm (59.2% vs. 0%, P < 0.05), AOD > 3 5 mm (12.2% vs. 0%, P < 0.05) and sclerosed mitral valve leaflets (18.4 vs. 12.5%, P > 0.05) were higher among footballers than controls. Conclusion: Professional footballing is associated with distinctive structural and functional echocardiographic adaptations among Nigerian professional footballers. A good understanding of this is important to differentiate disease states among them and also to identify high-risk individuals which may benefit from definitive intervention.


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