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Archives of cardiovascular diseases
Volume 106, n° 4
page 256 (avril 2013)
Doi : 10.1016/j.acvd.2013.03.031

Cardiac remodeling in tennis players participating in veteran French Roland Garros championship

N. Mansencal a, D.-M. Marcadet b, B. Montalvan b, O. Dubourg a
a Hôpital Ambroise-Paré, AP–HP, Boulogne, France 
b FFT, Paris, France 

Background .– Cardiac remodeling may occur in case of intensive training. However, few are known concerning the long-term cardiac effect of sport in veterans. The aim of this study was to analyze the cardiac changes due to tennis practice in veterans.

Methods .– The study population consisted in 535 subjects (men and women): 435 veteran tennis players (≥35years) participating in the 2007–2011 veteran French championships in Roland Garros stadium and 100 healthy patients included in an age- and gender-matched control group. All subjects underwent a physical examination, a 12-lead electrocardiogram and a complete transthoracic echocardiography. Analysis was performed according to the decade of life and to the level of tennis training among tennis players (intensive [>10hours/week] versus moderate training [T+ versus T−]).

Results .– Mean age was 57±12.5years (range: 35–80years). Echocardiography detected cardiac abnormalities in 3% of patients. Left ventricular and atrial parameters were significantly greater whatever the decade of life in tennis players as compared to the control group (P <0.001), in men than in women (P <0.001) and in male and female subjects T+ as compared to subjects T− and to the control group (P <0.005). Left ventricular hypertrophy was found in 40% of men and 19% of women. Patterns of mitral inflow and pulmonary vein inflow were significantly different according to the decade of life (P <0.0001), but no difference was observed between subjects T+, T− and control group. Echocardiographic parameters remained in physiological ranges whatever the decade of life and the intensity of training.

Conclusions .– In veteran tennis players, echocardiography is helpful for detecting cardiac abnormalities in 4% of subjects. Long-term practice of tennis leads to cardiac remodeling, particularly in T+ veteran tennis players. However, cardiac chamber size, systolic and diastolic function remains in physiological ranges whatever the decade of life and the intensity of training, suggesting that cardiac remodeling in veterans remain a physiologic adaptation.

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