oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Arrhythmias induced by exercise in athletes and others

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



Athletes are subject to the same arrhythmias as the general population, but the frequency and significance of the arrhythmias may be different. Cardiovascular conditioning slows the heart rate and may make athletes more vulnerable to neurocardiogenic syncope and atrial fibrillation. Tachyarrhythmias may be precipitated by vigorous exercise and more severe rate-related symptoms may result because of the high sympathetic drive during sports activities. For those with pre-existing cardiovascular abnormalities, athletic activity may be beneficial in some cases, but dangerous and even life-threatening in others. A review of the subject and recommendations based on our personal experience and a recent consensus conference are provided.

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