Relationship between proxies for Type II fiber type and resting blood pressure in Division I American Football Athletes
Objective: The risk for cardiovascular disease is well-documented. Perhaps surprisingly, specific athletic populations, including American football players, exhibit increased risk for cardiovascular disease as presented by elevated blood pressure. There is evidence suggesting a link between muscle fiber type distribution and resting blood pressure. Acknowledging this association, it becomes important to clarify an individualâ€™s risk for developing cardiovascular disease later in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to assess football performance measuresâ€”in particular proxies for muscular powerâ€”and their effect on resting blood pressure in football athletes.
Methods: A total of 80 collegiate-level football players participated in this study. Each participantâ€™s body fat %, body mass index, waist circumference, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were measured. Participants performed one-repetition maximums of bench press, back squat, 40-yard dash, and vertical leap, and a power index (PI) defined as the product of vertical leap and mass. Linear regressions were run between body composition variables and performance measures for all players and a subset of skill players only.
Results: The PI was found to be positively, significantly correlated with MAP in all players (r = 0.269; P = 0.035) and the skill players subset (r = 0.425; P = 0.004).
Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate an association between muscle fiber type distribution, as indicated by muscular power capacity, and resting blood pressure.
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