Cardiac Hypertrophy / Athlete 's Heart

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Cardiac Hypertrophy/ “Athlete’s Heart”

The body’s ability to adapt to changing conditions is a constant endeavor. Maintaining during intense change causes the body to adjust rapidly. The cardiovascular system’s ability to adapt during exercise has numerous adjustments to counteract the body’s newly acquired needs. The heart is capable of altering many functions such as stroke volume, heart rate, and cardiac output. In addition the heart can also undergo hypertrophy and increase in size. Cardiac hypertrophy occurs when the heart becomes stressed. Analyzing the causes of stress, and the heart’s ways of adapting we will explore the how cardiac hypertrophy is a relatively simple disorder which with knowledge can be prevented.
Cardiac hypertrophy is the enlargement of the lower, ventricular walls of the heart. Most commonly occurring in the left ventricular side, cardiac hypertrophy can occur on one side or both. Characterized by abnormal heart muscle growth it can be a healthy response to pregnancy or exercise. However, an increase in heart size could also be a sign of hypertension, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, obesity, or cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophy of the heart can be adaptive or maladaptive, therefore the growth may not lead to an increase in cardiac output.

Statistics According to the US Census Bureau, population estimates in 2004, in the United States it is estimated that approximately .02% of the population is effected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Which is two in
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