We investigated the effects of 3 and 6 months of regular football training on cardiac structure and function in hypertensive men. Thirty-one untrained males with mild-to-moderate hypertension were randomized 2:1 to a football training group (n = 20) and a control group receiving traditional recommendations on healthy lifestyle (n = 11). Cardiac measures were evaluated by echocardiography. The football group exhibited significant (P < 0.05) changes in cardiac dimensions and function after just 3 months: Left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume increased from 104 ± 25 to 117 ± 29 mL. LV diastolic function improved measured as E/A ratio (1.15 ± 0.32 to 1.54 ± 0.38), early diastolic velocity, E' (11.0 ± 2.5 to 11.9 ± 2.6 cm/s), and isovolumetric relaxation time (74 ± 13 to 62 ± 13 ms). LV systolic function improved measured as longitudinal displacement (10.7 ± 2.1 to 12.1 ± 2.3 mm). Right ventricular function improved with respect to tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (21.8 ± 3.2 to 24.5 ± 3.7 mm). Arterial blood pressure decreased in both groups, but significantly more in the football training group. No significant changes were observed in the control group. In conclusion, short-term football training improves LV diastolic function in untrained men with mild-to-moderate arterial hypertension. Furthermore, it may improve longitudinal systolic function of both ventricles. The results suggest that football training has favorable effects on cardiac function in hypertensive men.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 2014, Vol 24, Issue Suppl. 1, p. 27-35
Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't