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Heart. 2019 Feb 5. pii: heartjnl-2018-314155. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2018-314155. [Epub ahead of print]

Physical activity and left ventricular trabeculation in the UK Biobank community-based cohort study.

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William Harvey Research Institute, NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.



Vigorous physical activity (PA) in highly trained athletes has been associated with heightened left ventricular (LV) trabeculation extent. It has therefore been hypothesised that LV trabeculation extent may participate in exercise-induced physiological cardiac remodelling. Our cross-sectional observational study aimed to ascertain whether there is a 'dose-response' relationship between PA and LV trabeculation extent and whether this could be identified at opposite PA extremes.


In a cohort of 1030 individuals from the community-based UK Biobank study (male/female ratio: 0.84, mean age: 61 years), PA was measured via total metabolic equivalent of task (MET) min/week and 7-day average acceleration, and trabeculation extent via maximal non-compaction/compaction ratio (NC/C) in long-axis images of cardiovascular magnetic resonance studies. The relationship between PA and NC/C was assessed by multivariate regression (adjusting for potential confounders) as well as between demographic, anthropometric and LV phenotypic parameters and NC/C.


There was no significant linear relationship between PA and NC/C (full adjustment, total MET-min/week: ß=-0.0008, 95% CI -0.039 to -0.037, p=0.97; 7-day average acceleration: ß=-0.047, 95% CI -0.110 to -0.115, p=0.13, per IQR increment in PA), or between extreme PA quintiles (full adjustment, total MET-min/week: ß=-0.026, 95% CI -0.146 to -0.094, p=0.67; 7-day average acceleration: ß=-0.129, 95% CI -0.299 to -0.040, p=0.49), across all adjustment levels. A negative relationship was identified between left ventricular ejection fraction and NC/C, significantly modified by PA (ß difference=-0.006, p=0.03).


In a community-based general population cohort, there was no relationship at, or between, extremes, between PA and NC/C, suggesting that at typical general population PA levels, trabeculation extent is not influenced by PA changes.


cardiac magnetic resonance (cmr) imaging

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Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: SEP provides consultancy to Circle Cardiovascular Imaging Inc, Calgary, Canada. Other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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