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Why is a TOO big heart bad ?

Richard Kondo kondo at buphy.bu.edu
Thu Oct 13 11:15:31 EST 1994

Lombard FranCois (lombardf at uni2a.unige.ch) wrote:
: A student of mine (I teach Biology to 15-18 year olds) asked why it isn't
: so good to develop a too big heart (very intense training of teenagers is
: supposed to be bad for that reason , amongst others)
: Any help, or suggestion as to where I should post this are welcome.

: FranCois Lombard
: lombardf at uni2a.unige.ch

	Developing a larger heart is known as cardiac hypertrophy. 
Hypertrophy occurs in athletes and in persons with hypertension;
however, the type of hypertrophy differs.  Generally, aerobic exercise
such as running leads to increased size of the heart, but not increased
mass.  On the other hand, hypertension leads to increased mass.  The first
type of hypertrophy (that developed by athletes) is beneficial, while the
hypertrophy associated with increased blood pressure is deleterious.  The
exercise physiologist in our lab says that aerobic exercise has always
been shown to be good(for the heart).  The one possibility is  that 
weight training leads to
hypertrophy more similar to that in hypertension, according to him.

Richard Kondo
kondo at buphy.bu.edu
Cardiac Muscle Research Lab
Boston University, Boston

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