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Does competitive swimming during puberty affect lung development in pubertal females? Bovard, Joshua Maschio

Abstract

Whether the large lungs of competitive swimmers result from intensive swim training or genetic endowment has been widely debated. Given that peak growth velocities for the lungs occur during puberty, this longitudinal study aimed to determine if competitive swimming during puberty affected lung development. Female swimmers (n=11) and healthy controls (n=10) aged 11-14 years old were assessed before and after one competitive swimming season. Pulmonary function testing included lung volumes, spirometry, diffusion capacity (DL,CO), and maximal inspiratory (PIMAX) and expiratory (PEMAX) pressures. Ventilatory constraints, including end-expiratory lung volume (EELV), expiratory flow limitation (EFL), and utilization of ventilatory capacity (V̇E/V̇ECAP), were assessed during an incremental cycling test. Despite being of similar age (p=0.10), maturational development (p=0.27), and height (p=0.38) as controls, swimmers had a larger total lung capacity (p

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International