Does epicardial adipose tissue contribute to atrial fibrillation in endurance athletes?

Research Opportunity
Honours students
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Department / Centre
Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health
Location
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Erin Howden erin.howden@baker.edu.au 0436112343
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Andre La Gerche andre.lagerche@baker.edu.au 85321143

Summary Exercise has substantial health benefits with pleomorphic vascular, metabolic, psychological and anti-neoplastic actions resulting in improved quality of life and longevity. Despite these many benefits, numerous studies have shown that endurance athletes are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation (AF) than non-athletes. The type, intensity and amount of sport appears to influence the risk of developing AF. Several endurance sport activities have been shown to increase the risk of developing AF but an excess in AF has not been shown in non-endurance sports. Furthermore, lifetime hours of participation appear to increase the risk of developing AF. Intriguingly, women appear relatively protected and an association between endurance sport and AF has not been clearly demonstrated amongst female endurance athletes. The mechanisms by which endurance sport promotes the development of AF are unclear. There are, however, a number of pathophysiological mechanisms which are known to increase the risk of AF in non-athletes which have correlates in athletes. This project will investigate the relationship between epicardial fat and atrial fibrillation in endurance trained athletes.

Project Details

Exercise has substantial health benefits with pleomorphic vascular, metabolic, psychological and anti-neoplastic actions resulting in improved quality of life and longevity. Despite these many benefits, numerous studies have shown that endurance athletes are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation (AF) than non-athletes. The type, intensity and amount of sport appears to influence the risk of developing AF. Several endurance sport activities have been shown to increase the risk of developing AF but an excess in AF has not been shown in non-endurance sports. Furthermore, lifetime hours of participation appear to increase the risk of developing AF. Intriguingly, women appear relatively protected and an association between endurance sport and AF has not been clearly demonstrated amongst female endurance athletes. The mechanisms by which endurance sport promotes the development of AF are unclear. There are, however, a number of pathophysiological mechanisms which are known to increase the risk of AF in non-athletes which have correlates in athletes. This project will investigate the relationship between epicardial fat and atrial fibrillation in endurance trained athletes.


School Research Themes

Cardiometabolic



Research Opportunities

Honours students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health

Research Node

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.