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Peak Aerobic Performance and Left Ventricular Morphological Characteristics in University Students

Yamazaki, Hajime MD; Onishi, Shohei MD; Katsukawa, Fuminori MD; Ishida, Hiroyuki MD; Kinoshita, Norimitsu MD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: October 2000 - Volume 10 - Issue 4 - pp 286-290
Clinical Investigations

Objective: To determine whether a relationship exists between left ventricular morphology and aerobic capacity in large numbers of male university students with a physically inactive and active life style.

Design: A prospective study.

Setting: Sports medicine research center.

Participants: Eleven sedentary normal-weight university students, 17 sedentary overweight university students, and 215 university athletes.

Main Outcome Measures: After the echocardiographic examination, an incremental treadmill exercise test until exhaustion was performed to measure peak oxygen uptake (VO2).

Results: In sedentary students, absolute peak VO2 in the overweight students was slightly higher than that in normal-weight students (3,024 vs. 2,912 ml/min). Relative peak VO2 (ml/min/kg) was highly negatively correlated with body mass index (kg/m2) in a total of 28 sedentary students. The correlation between absolute peak VO2 and left ventricular dimension was weak in the sedentary overweight students; however, a correlation coefficient of 0.55 was obtained in athletic students. A stepwise multiple regression showed significant determinants of absolute peak VO2 in athletic students for body surface area (45%), left ventricular dimension (7%), and certain sports (6%).

Conclusions: A physically active life style plays a role in increasing both aerobic capacity and left ventricular enlargement. Body size appeared to be a potent stimulus to left ventricular enlargement.

Sports Medicine Research Center and School of Medicine, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan

Received December 8, 1998; accepted July 18, 2000.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Hajime Yamazaki, MD, Sports Medicine Research Center, Keio University, 4-1-1 Hiyoshi Kohuku-ku, Yokohama 223-8521, Japan. E-mail: yamazaki@

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.