Incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest is rare among older adults

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The annual incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest in the elderly is rare, 2-3 cases per 100,000.

Of the total 4,078 cases of sudden cardiac arrest investigated in people aged 65 and over, 77 (1.9%) occurred during or during physical activity such as cycling, gym training, running, golf or tennis. It happened later. Most cardiac arrests occurred in men (91%).

Investigators also analyzed the medical records of 47 patients with sports-related cardiac arrest and 3,162 patients with non-sport-related cardiac arrest. This analysis found that people who experienced sudden cardiac arrest during or shortly after exercise may have fewer cardiovascular risk factors and other health problems than those who did not experience exercise-related sudden cardiac arrest. was found to be high.

People who had a sports-related cardiac arrest were also more likely to experience a cardiac arrest in a public place and were four times more likely to survive than those who had a non-sport-related cardiac arrest.


Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when a person’s heart stops beating due to an electrical malfunction. This is a very dangerous event and most people die within minutes. The good news is that the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest has decreased among people of working age in recent years.

Exercise is one of the most heart-healthy habits to do. However, in rare cases, it can cause an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.


Investigators analyzed sudden cardiac arrests in people over the age of 65 in Portland, Oregon and Ventura County, California. To do this, they reviewed data collected as part of her two prospective studies. The Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study, ongoing since 2002, and the Ventura Prediction Study of Sudden Death in Multi-Ethnic Communities, ongoing since 2015. Data excluded those who experienced sudden cardiac arrest during hospitalization and those for whom resuscitation was not attempted.

Those who died of sudden cardiac arrest during or within 1 hour of a sport activity were classified as sport-related sudden cardiac arrest.


The findings reveal that sudden cardiac arrest caused by sport activity is rare, despite the steady increase in sport activity among older adults. In addition, people who have a sudden cardiac arrest with exercise tend to have fewer comorbidities and cardiovascular risk factors than those who have a sudden cardiac arrest not caused by exercise. Taken together, the benefits of sport activity likely outweigh the associated risk of sudden cardiac arrest, the authors conclude.

“The annual occurrence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest among older adults is extremely rare,” said Cedars-Sinai, senior author of the study. means you should continue.People who develop new symptoms should consult their doctor.People who want to start should do so only after consulting their doctor and obtaining an exercise prescription. should be recommended.”


Other authors of Cedars-Sinai include Lauri Holmstrom, MD, Harpriya S. Chugh, BS, Audrey Uy-Evanado, MD, Arayik Sargsyan, MD, MPH, Chad Sorenson, BS, Shiva Salmasi, MD, Faye L. Norby , PHD, MPH. , and Kyndaron Reinier, PHD, MPH.


The study was published in a peer-reviewed journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.


This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01HL145675). National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01HL147358); Sigrid Juselius Foundation. Finnish Cultural Foundation. the Instrument Science Foundation; the Orion Research Foundation; and the Paavo Nurmi Foundation.

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