Relationship between the heart rate and E/A ratio in athletic and non-athletic males

Zs Kneffel, B. Varga-Pintér, M. Tóth, Zs Major, G. Pavlik

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To clarify whether the higher E/A quotient of male athletes is a favourable change in the intrinsic relaxation properties of the left ventricle. Methods: Peak early (E) and atrial blood flow velocities (A) were assessed by Doppler echocardiography at rest in 1237 males (939 athletes) in Hungary. Data were collected between 1993-2009. Relationship between E/A and resting heart rate (HR), was determined by linear regression analysis. Results: The E/A decreased with age, the rate of decrease was slower in the physically trained subjects, except in children. In children, adolescent-young and young adult subjects E/A against HR equations of the athletic and nonathletic groups were similar, differences between the means were only due to the differences of the HR. In the 31-44 yr old males, the intercepts of the athletes' regression lines were higher. The oldest (>44 yr) active subjects showed a significant regression while sedentary males did not. Conclusions: The HR-independent beneficial effect of regular physical training on the diastolic function manifests itself at the older ages. The impact of resting HR should always be taken into consideration when assessing intergroup differences in the E/A ratio, especially when studying the effect of exercise training upon cardiac function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-293
Number of pages10
JournalActa physiologica Hungarica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2011



  • aging
  • athlete's heart
  • diastolic function
  • echocardiography
  • heart rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)

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