Comparison of Electrocardiographic Findings Between Bodybuilding Athletes and Non-Athletes in Herat, Afghanistan


Said Abdul Ghafour Saeedy
Aziz-ur-Rahman Niazi


Regular physical exercise induces cardiac remodeling, known as the "athlete's heart," with both electrophysiological and structural changes. Distinguishing physiological from pathological Electrocardiogram (ECG) patterns in athletes is vital for optimal diagnosis and cost-effective healthcare. This study aimed to compare ECG findings between bodybuilder athletes and non-athletes in Herat City, Afghanistan. A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted on 140 male participants in Herat City, Afghanistan, from November 2014 to November 2016. It comprised two cohorts: 70 healthy bodybuilder athletes were taken as cases, and 70 age-matched males who were non-athletes and healthy individuals were taken as a control group. A non-probability convenience sampling technique was used to collect study participants. Data was gathered using a questionnaire-based approach from the respondents and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 26. Athletes had a significantly higher prevalence of sinus arrhythmia (34.3% vs. 8.6%; p < 0.001), left ventricular hypertrophy (18.6% vs. 4.3%; p = 0.008), incomplete right bundle branch block (32.9% vs. 8.6%; p < 0.001), and T-wave inversions (8.6% vs. 0.0%; p = 0.012) compared to control groups. Notably, the overall ECG interpretation differed significantly (p < 0.001), with athletes exhibiting a higher frequency of abnormal findings. However, no statistically significant differences were observed in heart rate, PR interval, left atrial enlargement, QRS axis, QTc interval, ST segment, U wave, premature atrial contractions, and premature ventricular contractions. These findings indicate that athlete's heart adaptations mainly affect rhythm and repolarization on ECG. Accurately distinguishing between physiological and pathological ECG findings is crucial in sports cardiology. This discernment is key for precise diagnosis and targeted treatment, leading to optimal patient outcomes and minimizing unnecessary resource expenditure.


Afghanistan, Bodybuilding athletes, Electrocardiogram, Non-athletes, Physiological changes


How to Cite
Saeedy, S. A. G., & Niazi, A.- ur-R. (2024). Comparison of Electrocardiographic Findings Between Bodybuilding Athletes and Non-Athletes in Herat, Afghanistan. NUIJB, 3(01), 45–54. Retrieved from


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