Post by Taka
Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Sep;27(9):910-917. doi: 10.1111/sms.12830. Epub 2017 Jan 16.
Excess of exercise increases the risk of atrial fibrillation.
Müssigbrodt A1, Weber A1, Mandrola J2, van Belle Y3, Richter S1, Döring M1, Arya A1, Sommer P1, Bollmann A1, Hindricks G1.
An interesting and still not well-understood example for old medical wisdom "Sola dosis facit venenum" is the increased prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in athletes. Numerous studies have shown a fourfold to eightfold increased risk of AF in athletes compared to the normal population. Analysis of the existing data suggests a dose-dependent effect of exercise. Moderate exercise seems to have a protective effect and decreases the risk of AF, whereas excessive exercise seems to increase the risk of AF. The described cases illustrate clinical manifestations within the spectrum of AF in elderly athletes, that is, exercise-induced AF, vagal AF, chronic AF, and atrial flutter. As the arrhythmia worsened quality of life and exercise capacity in all patients, recovery of sinus rhythm was desired in all described cases. As the atrial disease was advanced on different levels, different treatment regimes were applied. Lifestyle modification and temporary anti-arrhythmic drug therapy could stabilize sinus rhythm in one patient, whereas others needed radiofrequency ablation to achieve a stable sinus rhythm. The patient with the most advanced atrial disease necessitated anti-arrhythmic drug therapy and another left atrial ablation. All described patients remained in sinus rhythm during the long-term follow-up.
Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter in athletes
Naiara Calvo1, Josep Brugada2, Marta Sitges2, Lluís Mont2
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in clinical practice, with an estimated prevalence of 0.4% to 1% in the general population, increasing with age to 8% in those above 80 years. The recognised risk factors for developing AF include age, structural heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus or hyperthyroidism. However, the mechanisms underlying the initiation of AF in patients below 60 years of age, in whom no cardiovascular disease or any other known causal factor is present, remain to be clarified. This condition, termed as lone AF, may be responsible for as many as 30% of patients with paroxysmal AF seeking medical attention. Recent studies suggest that long-term endurance exercise may increase the incidence of AF and atrial flutter (AFl) in this population. This review article is intended to analyse the prevalence of AF and AFl, the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the association between endurance sport practice and AF or AFl and the recommended therapeutic options in endurance athletes.
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