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Cardio exercise benefits in male vs. female hearts

Austin, TX While cardiovascular disease occurs in both men and women, it does not affect them in the same way. Risk factors and protective factors for heart diseases are likewise unequal. The molecular mechanisms responsible for these differences are so far unknown, but some believe it is due to chromosomal linked genes or sexual hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. While the mechanisms behind the differences are unknown, the physiological differences are clear. A new study examining chronic exercise in male and female mice finds that moderate long-term exercise provokes a sex-dependent cardiac adaptation that is different for females versus males. The findings may eventually help improve treatment strategies for women and men with heart disease.

The study is entitled Voluntary Exercise Induces Sex-Specific Physiological Cardiac Remodeling. It was conduced by Sebastian Brokat, Kathleen Cantow, Nadine Ehrenberg, Arne Kuhne, Jenny Thomas, and Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, all of the Center for Cardiovascular Research in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Brokat will discuss his teams findings at the upcoming conference, Sex and Gender in Cardiovascular-Renal Physiology and Pathophysiology, being held August 9-12, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Austin on Town Lake in Austin, TX. The meeting is the second scientific event to be sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS; www.The-APS.org) this year.

Background

Exercise is an important factor in preventing cardiovascular disease. Frequent exercise leads to the physiological remodeling (change) and hypertrophy (beneficial enlargement) of the heart. This type of hypertrophy is different from pathological hypertrophy (an abnormal enlargement that leads to problems such as heart failure). Pathological hypertrophy is also irreversible. There have been several descriptions on the effects of estradiol and testosterone (female and male hormones, respectively) on
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Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-aps.org
301-634-7209
American Physiological Society
8-Aug-2007


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