Echocardiographic evidence of concentric left ventricular enlargement in female weight lifters

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1998 Dec;79(1):88-92. doi: 10.1007/s004210050478.


In this study we investigated resting left ventricular structure and function in elite female weight-lifters. Fifteen National Squad members [mean age (SD) 25 (6) years] were compared to a recreationally active control group [n = 46, 23 (3) years]. Subjects were matched for body mass, body surface area and fat free mass, but the controls were slightly taller (P<0.01). Athletes and controls demonstrated similar resting heart rates and blood pressures. Septal wall (ST), posterior wall (PWT) and left ventricular internal dimension in diastole and systole (LVIDd and LVIDs, respectively) were measured from M-mode echocardiograms. Calculations were made for left ventricular mass (LVM), mass-volume ratio (m:V), wall-thickness-cavity dimension ratio (h:R) and systolic function. Left ventricular filling velocities were determined via Doppler echocardiography. ST [9.0 (1.1) v.s. 7.7 (1.0) mm] and PWT [8.7 (1.4) v.s. 7.5 (1.3) mm] were greater, whereas LVIDd [46.2 (2.8) v.s. 48.4 (3.4) mm] was smaller in the weight-lifters (P<0.05). After allometrically adjusting for differences in height, the weight-lifters had a greater ST, PWT and LVM (P<0.05) and similar LVIDd. Both m:V and h:R were increased in the weightlifters (P<0.05). All functional data were within normal limits and no group differences were observed. The female weight-lifters demonstrated a concentric left ventricular enlargement that was not detrimental to left ventricular performance at rest.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*