Cardiac adaptations to exercise in the general population are normal and harmless member Kim Arne Heitmann has defended his PhD thesis “Physical activity and the structure and function of the left side of the heart”. The defence was held on March 16th, 2023, at the University of Tromsø.

Heitmann has explored cardiac adaptations to exercise in the general population, through epidemiological data, including echocardiographic data, from the Tromsø Study (Tromsø 4, 6 and 7). His supervisors were members professors Bente Morseth and Maja-Lisa Løchen.

The main findings of the work was that exercise-induced cardiac remodelling, as known in the ‘athlete’s heart’, also occur with only moderate levels of physical activity, but that these adaptations are benign and harmless, and not associated with any increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

At the day of the defence, Heitmann also gave an excellent trial lecture on the topic “Hypertension and blood pressure response in physical activity and exercise – what are the implications, risks and possible benefits?”

Heitmann plans to continue his research through the network, and will continue teaching as well as performing research at the University of Tromsø.

From left: Tiina Ikäheimo (chair of evaluation committee), Kasper Andersen (1. opponent), candidate Kim Arne Heitmann, Trygve Berge (2. opponent), Carsten Gade Rolland (chair of defence).

Categories: NEWS

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