By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
Cardiologists are warning “older athletes”− individuals over 35 – about the risk of sudden death due to participation in organized endurance and competitive sports events. “Because of increasing numbers of older people participating…the incidence of sports-related death is expected to rise,” according to Sumeet Chugh, M.D., of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Joseph B. Weiss, M.D., of Brown University.
In an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the doctors noted that sudden death in the older athlete usually relates to significant coronary artery disease and that individuals need to be thoroughly screened to identify the presence of such a condition.
My Viewpoint: I couldn’t agree more about the importance of thorough screening. I worked in emergency room situations for years where I was confronted with many older sedentary individuals who experienced a heart attack after deciding to resume exercise, jogging, or jump into some sports program. I wasn’t always successful in saving their lives.
- Chugh SS, Weiss JB. Sudden Cardiac Death in the Older Athlete. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(5):493-502. Published online at http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleID=2108910
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