Abstract 14596: Participation in American-style Football is Associated with the Development of Hypertension and Concentric Left Ventricular Remodeling
Background: Although more than 1 million young adults in the United States participate in American-style football (ASF) annually, the impact of ASF participation on health outcomes has not been well characterized. We used a prospective, longitudinal study design to examine the impact of ASF participation on blood pressure (BP) and left ventricular (LV) structure.
Methods: First-year ASF players (n=138) in an NCAA Division-I program were enrolled over 4 consecutive years (2006–2009). Anthropometric measurements, resting vitals signs, medical history, and echocardiographic parameters of LV structure were examined before and after their first collegiate ASF season. Players were excluded from analysis if injury lead to a break in participation > 3 days.
Results: 86 players (18.6±0.7 years) completed a full season and were included in the final analysis. At enrollment, 2% (2/86) of players had systolic BP > 130 mmHg. Systolic BP (116±8 vs. 124±12 mmHg, p <0.001) and diastolic BP (64±8 mmHg vs. 67±11 mmHg, p = 0.005) increased significantly when pre- and post-season measurements were compared. At season's end, 36% (31/86) of players had systolic BP > 130 mmHg (130 mmHg-139 mmHg, n=20; >139 mmHg, n=11). Development of systolic BP > 130 mmHg was significantly associated with lineman field position (OR = 10.8, 95%CI = 3.7,31.7), intra-season weight gain (OR = 7.8, 95%CI = 2.1,29.0) and family history of hypertension (OR = 4.1, 95%CI = 1.4,11.1). As a group, players experienced concentric LV remodeling (LV mass 102±15 g/m2 vs. 112±17 g/m2, p <0.001; relative wall thickness 0.38±0.4 vs. 0.42±0.5, p <0.001). LV hypertrophy (LV mass >115 g/m2) developed in 38% (33/86) of players and was modestly associated with the presence of post-season systolic BP > 130 mmHg (OR = 2.5, 95%CI = 1.0,6.1).
Conclusions: ASF participation may precipitate hypertension and associated concentric LV hypertrophy. These findings warrant confirmation and further study given their clinical importance and potential public health impact.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.