Abstract 13714: Coronary Artery Plaque in Elite Women Marathon Runners Compared with Sedentary Controls: Coronary CTA Analysis
Background: Recent coronary artery studies suggest that elite male marathon runners may paradoxically have increased plaque formation. However, little is known about elite women athletes, since comparable coronary artery studies in women have not been reported. We thus examined female long-distance runners for coronary artery plaque, on a risk-adjusted basis with age and risk-matched controls. Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography (CCTA) was used to characterize the location and volume of coronary atherosclerotic lesions.
Methods: Competitive female marathon runners were invited to participate for study if they had run a minimum of 1 marathon per year for 10 consecutive years. Twenty-five women (all without cardiovascular symptoms) underwent Dual Source CCTA. Coronary artery scan data were compared with 28 matched, sedentary controls. Plaque distribution and characteristics were determined using commercial 3-D software (Vitrea, Vital Images), for lesion volume, location, and length.
Results: Twenty-eight lesions were identified in 14 of the 28 controls and 7 lesions were identified in 5 of the 25 marathoners. Mean plaque volume (mm3) for the controls versus marathoners was 169.8 ± 111.8 vs 96.5 ± 87.8, p=ns, and the average percent stenosis was 28 ± 15.7 vs 29.8 ± 10.3, p=ns. See tables below for additional results.
Conclusions: The sedentary control group had a statistically significant higher lesion prevalence than the marathon runners. However, on a per lesion basis, plaque volume and percent stenosis were not significantly different between each group indicating that when plaque is present, both groups exhibited similar plaque characteristics. These results suggest that coronary plaque, while less prevalent in women runners, developed the same volume and percent stenosis when it occurred. This result differs from studies in elite male runners, who had identical plaque prevalence and significantly more plaque volume than sedentary controls.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.