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Left Ventricle Dysfunction Diminishes Exercise Capacity
By Daniel H. Rasolt
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- People with
abnormal function in the left ventricle of their hearts appear to be extremely
limited in their exercise capacity, according to a recent study. This result
indicatest that new treatments for this common heart problem should result, due
to the currently common prescription of more exercise to improve heart
The ailment analyzed is referred to as "abnormal diastolic
function," characterized by observed an inability of the heart to "relax", in
this case localized within the left ventricle of the heart. The heart consists
of four "chambers." The left and right ventricles make up the bottom two
chambers of the heart, and the left and right atria, the upper. The heart also
has four main valves that pump blood in and out of the heart to the rest of the
body (triscupid, pulminary, mitral and aortic valves). The left ventricle was
found to be clearly associated with diminished exercise
Exercise is known to be an essential tool in the prevention and
maintenance of numerous ailments, such as diabetes, obesity, kidney disease and
heart disease, and is of course important in maintaining general health.
Unfortunately, many conditions that most benefit from increased exercise levels,
also limit the capacity to which individuals are able to exercise. Examples
include neuropathy, which limits movements and pain thresholds in diabetics, and
obesity making intensive exercise activities, such as running, impractical. The
current study has revealed that abnormal diastolic function associated with the
left ventricle fits into a similar debilitating category.
participated in the study, which utilized "exercise echocardiography," an
ultrasound method that views heart function during exertion. Abnormal diastolic
function in the left ventricle translated to a "substantially lower exercise
capacity," than similar problem in other parts of the heart, or in those
individuals with normal diastolic function.
This observation indicates
that individuals with left ventricle diastolic problems must have alternate
treatments and preventions for their condition. This is the goal of the
researchers, because it is critical that these patients be able to exercise in
order to live a healthy life. "In identifying diastolic function parameters as
strong correlates of exercise capacity, we have identified potentially
modifiable and preventable factors in the development of exercise intolerance.
It is well known that exercise training improves diastolic function in healthy
individuals," conclude the authors.
Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Klein, Traci. JAMA news release. January 2009.
Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.
Copyright © 2009 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
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