Older Adults at lower risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest during sports


eMediNexus    28 January 2023

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Clinical Electrophysiology revealed that among community-dwelling US individuals aged 65 and older, the advantages of regular exercise likely outweigh the minimal risk of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest.


Additionally, it was found that those with sports-related sudden cardiac arrest (SrSCA) had considerably fewer cardiovascular risks factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, or hyperlipidemia than those with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).


There were 77 SrSCAs (1.9%; 91% men) out of 4078 SCAs. According to cautious estimates of community members 65 and older who participate in sports, the prevalence of SrSCA in Portland was 28.9 per 100,000 sport participation years, and in Ventura, it was 18.4 per 100,000.


Most SrSCAs (77%) occurred during sports activity (most frequently running, cycling, and gym activity); 17% happened within an hour of the activity ceasing; and 6% couldnt be put into either group.


Twenty SrSCA patients (26%) experienced warning signs in the 24 hours before the incident, with chest pain (55%) being the most frequent symptom. Three (15%) patients had seizures, and the remaining patients only experienced general symptoms like nausea or dizziness.


Individuals with SrSCA showed a lower prevalence of clinical comorbidities than non-SrSCA patients among those with relevant medical records (47 SrSCA and 3162 non-SrSCA), including heart failure (17% vs. 38%), COPD/asthma (15.6% vs. 35.8%), and hypertension (57.8% vs. 80.1%). Additionally, they had much less cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.


However, the prevalence of previously diagnosed coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction was the same in both groups (48.9% vs 48.1% and 27.7% vs 25.4%, respectively).


Experts concluded that older adults should be encouraged to participate in sports. These findings provide information that may be presented to patients to maintain a balance between risk and benefit.


(Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/987568?src=#vp_1)

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