Sports-related sudden cardiac arrest is rare in older adults : Study
7 Feb 2023 • Sports-related sudden cardiac arrest in elderly persons happens in just 2 to 3 cases per 100,000 people each year. The findings were reported in the peer-reviewed journal - JACC : Journal of the American College of Cardiology Of the 4,078 total sudden cardiac arrest cases studied in people 65 and older, 77 (1.9%) occurred during or following an exercise activity, such as cycling, gym workout, running, or playing golf or tennis. Most of the cardiac arrests occurred in men (91%).
"The annual incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest among older adults is extremely rare," said Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, the Pauline and Harold Price Chair in Cardiac Electrophysiology Research, director of the Heart Rhythm Center in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, and senior author of the study. "This means older people who regularly participate in sports should continue. Those who develop new symptoms should consult their physician. Those who want to start should be encouraged to do so, but only after consulting their physician and obtaining an exercise prescription."
Investigators also analyzed medical records, which were available for 47 people with sports-related cardiac arrest and 3,162 for people with non-sports-related cardiac arrest. This analysis revealed that people who experienced sudden cardiac arrest during or shortly after exercise were more likely to have fewer cardiovascular risk factors and other health issues than people who did not experience exercise-related sudden cardiac arrest.
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