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Am J Cardiol. 2015 Jan 15;115(2):262-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2014.10.033. Epub 2014 Oct 31.

Impact of American-style football participation on vascular function.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address: jonathan.kim@emory.edu.
2
Division of Cardiology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
3
University Health Services, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
4
Department of Sports Medicine, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.
5
Cardiovascular Performance Program, Division of Cardiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
6
University Health Services, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Cardiovascular Performance Program, Division of Cardiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

Although hypertension is common in American-style football (ASF) players, the presence of concomitant vascular dysfunction has not been previously characterized. We sought to examine the impact of ASF participation on arterial stiffness and to compare metrics of arterial function between collegiate ASF participants and nonathletic collegiate controls. Newly matriculated collegiate athletes were studied longitudinally during a single season of ASF participation and were then compared with healthy undergraduate controls. Arterial stiffness was characterized using applanation tonometry (SphygmoCor). ASF participants (n = 32, 18.4 ± 0.5 years) were evenly comprised of Caucasians (n = 14, 44%) and African-Americans (n = 18, 56%). A single season of ASF participation led to an increase in central aortic pulse pressure (27 ± 4 vs 34 ± 8 mm Hg, p <0.001). Relative to controls (n = 47), pulse wave velocity was increased in ASF participants (5.6 ± 0.7 vs 6.2 ± 0.9 m/s, p = 0.002). After adjusting for height, weight, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure, ASF participation was independently predictive of increased pulse wave velocity (β = 0.33, p = 0.04). In conclusion, ASF participation leads to changes in central hemodynamics and increased arterial stiffness.

PMID:
25465938
PMCID:
PMC4276464
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjcard.2014.10.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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