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  • 1 The Semmelweis University and the Sport Sciences Doctoral School, Semmelweis University Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences Alkotás u. 44 H-1123 Budapest Hungary
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Introduction: One of the most important effects of regular physical training is the adaptation of the cardiovascular system. The basic importance of the “athlete’s heart” is manifested in two fields, one is the public health, the second is the competitive sport. Questions: 1. The higher E/A quotient of physically active persons can be explained by the training bradycardia, or it can be supposed as an independent effect of regular physical exercise? 2. The training induced changes in heart characteristics of different ball-game-players. 3. How cardiac data are related to the relative aerobic power, as an index the most indicative to the endurance performance? Methods: Two-dimensionally guided M-mode and Doppler echocardiographic data of different athletic and non-athletic subjects were compared with each other, differences between data of different athletic groups were also analysed. Results: 1. E/A quotient characterises left ventricular (LV) diastolic function, but it highly depends on the heart rate. The higher E/A found in the young athletes does not seem to be an independent effect of the regular physical training. In the elderly subjects, it suggests that regular physical training can diminish the age-associated impairment of diastolic function. 2. Investigating the data of the different ball-game-players characteristic differences were seen. In the myocardial hypertrophy and in the resting heart rate water polo players were the best, volleyball players the worst, but their values were also better than those of non-athletes. Differences between the different ball-game-players can be explained by the different movement patterns. The high level of the cardiac athletic characteristics of the water poloists can be explained by their long sports carrier, the longer training sessions and the complexity of their movements, the relatively weaker cardiac results of the volleyball players can be explained by the fact that their movements are restricted to a smaller territory. 3. In the pooled group of non-athletes and of competitors of several kinds of sports (endurance athletes, ball-game-players, power-and-sprint-events athletes) all the measured parameters correlated significantly with the relative maximal oxygen consumption. In the separate athletic groups the higher was the proportion of endurance activity in their training and competitive program, the stronger were the correlations. Differences can be explained by the supposed different muscular structure.

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