Cardiac response to exercise in normal ageing: what can we learn from masters athletes?

A. Beaumont, A. Campbell, F. Grace, N. Sculthorpe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    129 Downloads (Pure)


    Ageing is associated with a progressive decline in cardiac and vascular health, resulting in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Lifestyle factors such as exercise have emerged as a primary therapeutic target in the prevention of CVD, yet older individuals are frequently reported as being the least active, with 1 in four adults failing to meet the physical activity guidelines. In contrast, well trained older individuals (Masters athletes) have superior functional capacity than their sedentary peers and are often comparable with young non-athletes. Therefore, the decline commonly observed in untrained older individuals overestimates the decline due to age per se and masters athletes represent a viable model by which to determine the degree to which functional capacity may be maintained, and the extent of the unavoidable 'true' reduction in functional capacity due to ageing.

    This review examines evidence from observational studies which have compared well trained older athletes, with age matched, sedentary, but otherwise healthy controls, and the consequences on cardiac structure and function are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-253
    Number of pages9
    JournalCurrent Cardiology Reviews
    Issue number4
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2018


    • systolic function
    • diastolic function
    • cardiac remodelling
    • healthy ageing
    • athletes
    • cardiac response


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