Sinus node disease and arrhythmias in the long-term follow-up of former professional cyclists

Baldesberger, Sylvette; Bauersfeld, Urs; Candinas, Reto; Seifert, Burkhardt; Zuber, Michel; Ritter, Manfred; Jenni, Rolf; Oechslin, Erwin; Luthi, Pia; Scharf, Christop; Marti, Bernard; Attenhofer Jost, Christine H. (2008). Sinus node disease and arrhythmias in the long-term follow-up of former professional cyclists European Heart Journal, 29(1), pp. 71-78. Oxford University Press 10.1093/eurheartj/ehm555

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Aims: Significant brady- and tachyarrhythmias may occur in active endurance athletes. It is controversial whether these arrhythmias do persist after cessation of competitive endurance training. Methods and results Among all 134 former Swiss professional cyclists [hereafter, former athletes (FAs)] participating at least once in the professional bicycle race Tour de Suisse in 1955–1975, 62 (46%) were recruited for the study. The control group consisted of 62 male golfers matched for age, weight, hypertension, and cardiac medication. All participants were screened with history, clinical and echocardiographic examination, ECG, and 24 h ECG. The time for the last bicycle race of FA s was 38 ± 6 years. The mean age at examination was 66 ± 6 years in controls and 66 ± 7 years in FA s ( P = 0.47). The percentage of study participants with >4 h current cardiovascular training per week was identical. QRS duration (102 ± 20 vs. 95 ± 13 ms, P = 0.03) and corrected QTc interval (416 ± 27 vs. 404 ± 18, P = 0.004) were longer in FA s . There was no significant difference in the number of isolated atrial or ventricular premature complexes, or supraventricular tachycardias in the 24 h ECG; however, ventricular tachycardias tended to occur more often in FA s than in controls (15 vs. 3%, P = 0.05). The average heart rate was lower in FA s (66 ± 9 vs. 70 ± 8 b.p.m.) ( P = 0.004). Paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation or flutter was reported more often in FA s ( P = 0.028). Sinus node disease (SND), defined as bradycardia of <40 b.p.m. (10 vs. 2%), atrial flutter (6 vs. 0%), pacemaker for bradyarrhythmias (3 vs. 0%), and/or maximal RR interval of >2.5 s (6 vs. 0%), was more common in FA (16%) than in controls (2%, P = 0.006). Observed survival of all FAs was not different from the expected. Conclusions: Among FAs, SND occurred significantly more often compared with age-matched controls, and there is trend towards more frequent ventricular tachycardias. Further studies have to evaluate prevention of arrhythmias with extreme endurance training, the necessity of regular follow-up of heart rhythm, and management of arrhythmias in former competitive endurance athletes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Leistungssport

Name:

Baldesberger, Sylvette;
Bauersfeld, Urs;
Candinas, Reto;
Seifert, Burkhardt;
Zuber, Michel;
Ritter, Manfred;
Jenni, Rolf;
Oechslin, Erwin;
Luthi, Pia;
Scharf, Christop;
Marti, Bernard and
Attenhofer Jost, Christine H.

ISSN:

0195-668X (Print) 1522-9645 (Online)

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Admin import user

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2021 14:18

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2021 02:17

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/eurheartj/ehm555

Related URLs:

PubMed ID:

18065754

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Cyclists Sinus node disease Arrhythmias Endurance training Atrial fibrillation Atrial flutter

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.11008

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/11008

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