Heart Disease in Athletes

Stephen C. Hammill

in Mayo Clinic Cardiology

Fourth edition

Published on behalf of © Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199915712
Published online May 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322824 | DOI:

Series: Mayo Clinic Scientific Press

Heart Disease in Athletes

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The medical community, the public, and athletes all have concerns about identifying persons at risk for sudden cardiac death. Physicians are frequently asked to assess the suitability of an athlete to participate in a particular sport. Typically, compared with nonathletes, athletes have a slower minimal heart rate, a higher percentage of sinus pauses lasting longer than 2 seconds, and more Mobitz I atrioventricular block because of higher vagal tone that occurs with conditioning. Guidelines recommend that athletes be screened initially by obtaining a history and conducting a physical examination. If the history identifies previous near syncope, syncope, palpitations, or a family history of sudden cardiac death, or if the physical examination identifies a serious heart murmur or other cardiac problem, the athlete should have an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, and stress testing.

Chapter.  956 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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