Research Departments Physiology 20210417 Young Investigator Award
17 April 2021

This annual congress was held digitally from April 15-17 and many sessions were pre-recorded for optimal streaming experience. Vincent received the award for his abstract titled “Exercise intensity is associated with progression of coronary artery calcification in middle-aged and older athletes: findings from the MARC-2 study”.

This study is about the progression of coronary atherosclerosis in middle-aged and older male athletes. Although exercise markedly improves cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, paradoxically we and others previously found increased coronary atherosclerosis in athletes. However, previous studies were limited by their cross-sectional design. Therefore, the study aimed to investigate progression of coronary atherosclerosis in athletes in a longitudinal setting using a coronary CT-scan in almost 300 men with approximately 6 year follow-up.

It was found that exercise intensity during the follow-up period was associated with progression of coronary artery calcification scores during the follow-up period. There was no significant association found with exercise volume, but vigorous intensity exercise was associated with less progression, whereas very vigorous intensity exercise was associated with more progression of coronary artery calcification. This is important because it can help with unraveling the role of exercise on coronary atherosclerosis, its mechanism and aid in providing exercise recommendations for optimal risk reduction of coronary artery disease.

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