Document Detail

Increased left ventricular muscle mass after long-term altitude training in athletes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9381951     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The effects of long-term altitude training on altitude and sea-level physiological characteristics in elite endurance athletes were investigated. Seven Swedish elite cross-country skiers (five men, two women; mean age 27 years) spent 1 month training at 1900 m above sea level in Italy. Rollerski treadmill tests were performed before and 5 and 11 days after the altitude sojourn; three tests were also performed at altitude. Before and 1, 11 and 35 days after the altitude camp, echocardiographic and blood volume measurements were performed. The heart rates at both maximal (P < 0.05) and submaximal (P < 0.01) work loads were decreased by 5-9 beats min-1 at altitude. The haemoglobin concentration and haematocrit increased quickly at altitude with a corresponding decrease on return to sea level. The blood volume (7%) and total haemoglobin (3%) tended to be higher day 11 post-altitude (NS). There were no significant changes in diastolic internal diameter or wall thickness of the left ventricle, but the calculated cardiac left ventricular muscle mass was increased post-altitude (9-10%, P < 0.01). The maximal oxygen uptake increased in six of the seven skiers after the altitude training (day 11, mean 3%, NS). In conclusion, training at moderate altitude may cause a reduction in heart rates during exercise. Moreover, after long-term training at altitude, there may be an increase in the cardiac left ventricular muscle mass.
J Svedenhag; K Piehl-Aulin; C Skog; B Saltin
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Acta physiologica Scandinavica     Volume:  161     ISSN:  0001-6772     ISO Abbreviation:  Acta Physiol. Scand.     Publication Date:  1997 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-11-07     Completed Date:  1997-11-07     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370362     Medline TA:  Acta Physiol Scand     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  63-70     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Department of Clinical Physiology, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
Blood Volume / physiology
Exercise / physiology
Heart / anatomy & histology,  physiology*
Heart Rate / physiology
Oxygen Consumption / physiology
Respiration / physiology
Skiing / physiology*
Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:

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