Physical training is gaining popularity among amateurs. Males and females exhibit different cardiac adaptation to exercise. The aim of the study was to compare the incidence of electrocardiographic abnormalities before and after the marathon between sexes. 12-lead electrocardiogram was performed in 40 male (39±8 years) and 27 female (40±7 years) amateur runners: 2-3 weeks before (Stage 1) and immediately after (Stage 2) the marathon. Abnormalities in the resting (Stage 1) and exercise (Stage 2) electrocardiograms were compared between sexes. At rest left atrial enlargement was more frequent in females than males (48 vs. 20%; p<0.05). The incidence of right atrial enlargement was significantly more common at Stage 2 than 1, both in men (43 vs. 0%; p<0.001) and in women (48 vs. 4%; p=0.001). Significant increase of P-wave amplitude was found in male runners after the marathon (0.12±0.05 vs. 0.21±0.09 mV; p<0.001 Stage 1 vs. 2), but was absent in females. QTc prolongation was observed in both sexes, however to a higher degree in males (p<0.05 for the interaction stage and sex). Although both male and female amateur marathon runners exhibit abnormalities in resting and exercise electrocardiograms, men present more exercise-induced electrocardiographic changes, which might indicate a higher propensity for post-marathon arrhythmias. Electrocardiographic screening in amateurs should be considered.
About The Expert
Anna Maria Kaleta