The study examined the effects of 1 year of football or strength training on cardiovascular function in 65- to 75-year-old men. Twenty-six untrained men (age: 68.2 ± 3.2 years) were randomized to football training (FTG; n = 9), strength training (STG; n = 9), or control (CG; n = 8). In FTG, left ventricular (LV) internal diastolic diameter, end-diastolic volume, and mass index were 8%, 21%, and 18% higher (P < 0.01), respectively, after 12 months, with no changes in STG and CG. After 12 months, LV ejection fraction was increased (P < 0.05) by 8% and 5% in FTG and STG, respectively, and systolic longitudinal two-dimensional strain by 8% and 6%, whereas right ventricular systolic function improved (P < 0.05) by 22% in FTG, but not in STG and CG. In FTG, LV diastolic mitral inflow (E/A) ratio and peak early diastolic velocity (E') improved (P < 0.05) by 25% and 12%, respectively, after 12 months, with no changes in STG and CG. In FTG, maximum oxygen uptake was 16% and 18% higher (P < 0.001) after 4 and 12 months, respectively, and resting heart rate was 6 and 8 beats per minute lower (P < 0.001), respectively, with no changes in STG and CG. In conclusion, football training elicited superior cardiovascular effects compared with strength training in elderly untrained men.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01530035.
Keywords: Echocardiography; diastolic function; high-intensity interval training; systolic function; vascular function.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.