Deaf Athlete: Is There Any Difference Beyond The Hearing Loss?

Akgul Ercan E., Kilic A., SAVAŞ S., AÇAK M., Biyikli Z., Tore H. F.

REVISTA DE CERCETARE SI INTERVENTIE SOCIALA, vol.52, pp.241-251, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.241-251
  • Keywords: echocardiography, deafness, Doppler echocardiography, exercise test, PHYSICAL-EDUCATION, RATE RECOVERY, WELL
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Regular physical activity and sport is important for enhanced physical fitness and skill performance of deaf athletes. However there are few data in the literature about their medical considerations. In this study we aimed to determine the morphological findings and cardiac status of the deaf athletes and compare then with the normal ones. Thirty deaf and twenty-two normal male athletes without cardiovascular diseases participated in the study. Transthoracic echocardiography and exercise stress testing were performed. Tissue Doppler imaging (TDI)-derived myocardial performance index (MPI) was also evaluated. VO2 max and heart rate recovery were calculated after exercise stress testing. Total cholesterol, LDL and trigliseride levels were significantly increased in the deaf athletes, but they were still found to be in normal ranges according to age and risk factor profile (p<0.05). End-diastolic diameter and left ventricular mass index were found to be significantly increased in the controls when compared with the deaf athletes (p<0.001). Heart rate recovery at 1 minute did not show any difference in the deaf group when compared with the control group (p>0.05). MPI calculated from TDI-derived variables was found to be 0.41 +/- 0.073 in the deaf group and 0.46 +/- 0.061 in the controls respectively and significantly decreased in the deaf (p<0.05). Beyond having a hearing loss, the deaf athletes have many cardiac structural and functional differences from their normal counterparts. The factors that give rise to these differences have to be revealed by further research.