Study finds young athletes are slightly more likely to have enlarged heart aortas

Athletics training is associated with an increase in the athletes’ heart ventricle wall thickness and cavity size. These changes are facilitated by the growth of heart muscle cells, or myocytes, in response to an increased load on the heart from intensive physical exercise. Following episodes of ‘detraining’, the heart size returns to normal.

Two previous large studies involving athletes have shown that the thoracic aorta is also slightly increased in size; however, the significance of an enlarged aorta is unknown. Given that the aorta consists of a large amount of elastic tissue, it is possible that an enlarged aorta may represent reduced elastic properties and an inherent risk of aortic rupture. Although it might be expected that very tall athletes, such as basketball players, would have a very dilated aorta based on their size, a recent American study showed that the aortic diameter rarely exceeds 40 mm.

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Cardiology Update – Meet the experts

This year’s Cardiology Update conference will be held on Friday November 3 at the Royal Society of Arts in central London.

The meeting is hosted by St George’s, University of London, principally by Professors Juan Carlos Kaski and John Camm of the university’s Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute.

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St George’s cardiac team gets Royal seal of approval at London Marathon

Experts from St George’s, University of London, were on duty in case of medical emergencies at this weekend’s 36th London Marathon as over 40,000 runners took part in Britain’s largest sporting event. 

As the Medical Director of the Virgin London Marathon, Professor Sanjay Sharma, of St George’s University of London, is ultimately responsible for the organisation of medical support for the runners.

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Worldwide study reveals new genes for heart function

The way the heart muscle functions appears to be much more complex than previously assumed.

30 September 2016