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The right ventricle best predicts the race performance in amateur ironman athletes


Bernheim, Alain M; Attenhofer Jost, Christine H; Zuber, Michel; Pfyffer, Monica; Seifert, Burkhardt; De Pasquale, Gabriella; Linka, Andre; Faeh-Gunz, Anja; Medeiros-Domingo, Argelia; Knechtle, Beat (2013). The right ventricle best predicts the race performance in amateur ironman athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 45(8):1593-1599.

Abstract

Purpose: The Ironman (IM) triathlon is a popular ultra endurance competition, consisting of a 3.8km swimming, 180.2km cycling, and a 42.2km run. The aim of this study was to investigate predictors of IM race time, comparing echocardiographic findings, anthropometric measures, and training characteristics.Methods: Amateur IM athletes (ATHL) participating in the Zurich IM race in 2010 were included. Participants were examined the day before the race by a comprehensive echocardiographic examination. Moreover, anthropometric measurements were obtained the same day. During the 3 months before the race, each IM-ATHL maintained a detailed training diary. Recorded data were related to total Ironman race time.Results: Thirty-eight Ironman finishers (average age 38±9 years, 32 male [84%]) were evaluated. Average total race time was 684±89 minutes. For right ventricular fractional area change (average: 45±7%, Spearman-ρ=-0.33; p=0.05) a weak correlation with race time was observed. Race performance exhibited stronger associations with percent body fat (15.2±5.6%, ρ=0.56; p=0.001), speed in running training (11.7±1.2 km/h, ρ=-0.52; p=0.002), and left ventricular myocardial mass index (98±24 g/m, ρ=-0.42; p=0.009). The strongest association was found between race time and right ventricular end-diastolic area (22±4 cm, ρ=-0.64; p<0.0001). In multivariate analysis, right ventricular end-diastolic area (beta=-16.7, 95% confidence interval: -27.3-[-6.1]; p=0.003) and percent body fat (beta=6.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.1-12.6; p=0.02) were independently predictive of Ironman race time.Conclusions: In amateur IM-ATHL, RV end-diastole area and percent body fat were independently related to race performance. RV end-diastolic area was the strongest predictor of race time. The role of the RV in endurance exercise may thus be more important than previously thought and needs to be further studied.

Abstract

Purpose: The Ironman (IM) triathlon is a popular ultra endurance competition, consisting of a 3.8km swimming, 180.2km cycling, and a 42.2km run. The aim of this study was to investigate predictors of IM race time, comparing echocardiographic findings, anthropometric measures, and training characteristics.Methods: Amateur IM athletes (ATHL) participating in the Zurich IM race in 2010 were included. Participants were examined the day before the race by a comprehensive echocardiographic examination. Moreover, anthropometric measurements were obtained the same day. During the 3 months before the race, each IM-ATHL maintained a detailed training diary. Recorded data were related to total Ironman race time.Results: Thirty-eight Ironman finishers (average age 38±9 years, 32 male [84%]) were evaluated. Average total race time was 684±89 minutes. For right ventricular fractional area change (average: 45±7%, Spearman-ρ=-0.33; p=0.05) a weak correlation with race time was observed. Race performance exhibited stronger associations with percent body fat (15.2±5.6%, ρ=0.56; p=0.001), speed in running training (11.7±1.2 km/h, ρ=-0.52; p=0.002), and left ventricular myocardial mass index (98±24 g/m, ρ=-0.42; p=0.009). The strongest association was found between race time and right ventricular end-diastolic area (22±4 cm, ρ=-0.64; p<0.0001). In multivariate analysis, right ventricular end-diastolic area (beta=-16.7, 95% confidence interval: -27.3-[-6.1]; p=0.003) and percent body fat (beta=6.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.1-12.6; p=0.02) were independently predictive of Ironman race time.Conclusions: In amateur IM-ATHL, RV end-diastole area and percent body fat were independently related to race performance. RV end-diastolic area was the strongest predictor of race time. The role of the RV in endurance exercise may thus be more important than previously thought and needs to be further studied.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:25 Apr 2013 06:47
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 21:03
Publisher:Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:0195-9131
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828ba558
PubMed ID:23470299

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