Author + information
- James L. Gentrya,b,
- David Carruthersa,b,
- Christopher Maroulesa,b,
- Parag Joshia,b,
- Colby Ayersa,b,
- Philip Aagaarda,b,
- Rory Hachamovitcha,b,
- Reginald Dunna,b,
- Andrew Lincolna,b,
- Andrew Tuckera,b,
- Kezia Alexandera,b and
- Dermot Phelana,b
Background: Ascending aortic dimensions are slightly larger in athletes compared to sedentary controls and almost rarely > 4 cm. It is unknown whether past exposure to the hemodynamic stress of repetitive strenuous exercise translates into differences in aortic dimensions in former elite athletes.
Methods: This is a retrospective, cross-sectional study of 206 former National Football League (NFL) athletes compared with 759 male subjects from the Dallas Heart Study (DHS). Mid-ascending aortic dimensions were obtained from computed tomographic scans performed as part of a screening protocol (NFL) or as part of the DHS protocol.
Results: Baseline characteristics are shown in the Table. Compared to a population based control, former NFL athletes had significantly larger ascending aortic diameters (3.8 ± 0.5 cm vs. 3.4 ± 0.4 cm; p< 0.0001). A significantly higher proportion of retired NFL players had an aorta of > 4 cm (29.6% versus 8.6%, p=<0.0001). After adjusting for age, race, body surface area, systolic blood pressure, history of hypertension, current smoking, and diabetes the former NFL players still had significantly larger aortas (Table). Former NFL players were twice as likely to have an aorta > 4 cm after adjusting for the same parameters (Table).
Conclusions: Ascending aortic dimensions are significantly larger in former NFL athletes even accounting for their size, age, and risk factors. Whether this translates to an increased risk is unknown and requires further evaluation.
Moderated Poster Contributions
Non Invasive Imaging Moderated Poster Theater, Poster Hall, Hall C
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 12:30 p.m.-12:40 p.m.
Session Title: Hearts and Soles: Multimodality Imaging in Athletes
Abstract Category: 31. Non Invasive Imaging: Sports and Exercise
Presentation Number: 1225M-03
- 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation