Physiological Analysis of Middle-Aged and Old Former Athletes
Comparison with Still Active Athletes of the Same Ages
Blood lipids, red cell volume, heart volume, dynamic spirometry, electrocardiograms made at rest and during exercise, and maximal oxygen uptake were determined in 29 former athletes 45 to 70 years old. The subjects had been very successful competitors in endurance events before the age of 30, but for at least 10 years preceding this study had been sedentary.
Maximal oxygen uptake averaged 40 ml/kg/min which is 20% higher than that of sedentary middle-aged men but 25% lower than that of still active athletes of the same ages. Vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, and maximal voluntary ventilation showed normal values. Heart volume was large in relation to maximal oxygen uptake and was of the same magnitude as in still active athletes. Red cell volume was also large in relation to maximal oxygen uptake, but normal in relation to the body weight. Cholesterol in serum averaged 260 mg/100 ml. Values for neutral fat averaged 1.6 mM, which was higher than that for still active athletes.
In the athletes still active, the frequency of S-T changes was as common as in unselected healthy old men but in the former athletes the frequency was reduced. This was also true for the frequency of right bundle-branch block, ST-junction elevation and high T waves.
- Maximal oxygen uptake
- Heart volume
- Red cell volume
- ECG during exercise
- Blood lipids in former endurance athletes
- Dynamic spirometry
- © 1968 American Heart Association, Inc.