Pre-Participation and Follow-Up Screening of Athletes for Endurance Sport

Roman Leischik, Birgit Dworrak, Peter Foshag, Markus Strauss, Norman Spelsberg, Henning Littwitz, Marc Horlitz


Physical activity increases life expectancy and sport is a priori not harmful. Exhausted sporting activity (e.g. endurance running, triathlon, cycling or competitive sport) can lead under individual conditions to negative cardiac remodelling (pathological enlargement/function of cardiac cavities/structures) or in worst case to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD). This individually disposition can be genetically determined or behaviourally/environmentally acquired. Overall competitive young male athletes suffer five-fold higher than non-competitive athletes from sudden death and athletes aged over 30 bear a potential for arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation or a 20-fold higher possibility for SCD as female athletes. Patients with diabetes, coronary disease, obesity or hypertension require different special managements. Screening of cardiorespiratory health for sport activities has a lot of faces. Basically there is a need for indicated examinations or possible preventive measures inside or outside of pre-competition screening. The costs of screening compared to expenditure of whole effort for sporting activities are acceptable or even negligible, but of course dependent on national/regional settings. The various causes and possibilities of screening will be discussed in this article as basic suggestion for an open discussion beyond national borders and settings.

J Clin Med Res. 2015;7(6):385-392


Physical activity; Pre-participation screening; Athletes; Endurance sport

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