Physical activity has benefits on health. However, there is a small risk of effort‐related adverse events. The aim of this study is to describe exercise‐related severe cardiovascular events and to relate them with the type of sport performed. We performed a ten‐year retrospective study in eight Spanish cardiac intensive care units. Adverse cardiac events were defined as acute myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest or syncope related to physical activity. From 117 patients included, 109 were male (93.2%), and mean age was 51.6 ± 12.3 years; 56 presented acute myocardial infarction without cardiac arrest (47.9%), 55 sudden cardiac death (47.0%) and six syncope (5.1%). The sports with higher number of events were cycling (33%‐28.2%), marathon or similar running competitions (19%‐16.2%), gymnastics (18%‐15.3%) and soccer (17%‐14.5%). Myocardial infarction was observed more frequently in cyclists compared to other sports (69.7% vs 39.3%, P = .001). The most common cause of sudden cardiac death was myocardial infarction in those >35 years (23%‐63.9%) and idiopathic ventricular fibrillation in younger patients (5%‐62.5%). Significant coronary artery disease was present in 85 (79.4%). Only one patient with cardiac arrest presented with a non‐shockable rhythm (asystole). Eleven patients (9.4%) died during hospitalization; in all cases, they had presented cardiac arrest. All discharged patients were alive at the end of follow‐up. Exercise‐related severe cardiac events are mainly seen in men. Coronary heart disease is very frequent; about half present acute myocardial infarction and the other half cardiac arrest. In our cohort, prognosis was good in patients without cardiac arrest.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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