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A prediction model for left ventricular mass in patients

‘Pathological’ cardiac hypertrophy is a condition that is characterized by the thickening of the heart muscle, a decrease in the size of the chambers of the heart, and a reduced capacity of the heart to pump blood to the tissues and organs around the body. Two common causes of pathological cardiac hypertrophy are high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart valve stenosis, and this type of hypertrophy is considered to be a major independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, ‘physiological’ cardiac hypertrophy can be provoked by exercise training and can lead to increase cardiac size that is characterized by normal cardiac morphology with a normal and/or enhanced cardiac function . In addition, exercise training has been shown to be the only practical and sustainable countermeasure capable of providing cardioprotection by improving myocardial tolerance to ischaemia–reperfusion injury (e.g. heart attack)

Although both types of cardiac hypertrophy are initiated by an overload to the heart, the distinct differences between the two can be attributed to the type of overloading stimuli. However, data also implicate duration and intensity of the cardiac overload in determining whether the cardiac hypertrophy that develops is ‘pathological’ or ‘physiological’. Indeed, even the benefits of exercise can be dose dependent. For example, very high intensity/duration exercise can result in unfavourable cardiac structural and electrical cardiac remodelling.