Many people with implantable defibrillators can participate in vigorous sports
NewMediaWire via Webwire
- Many people with implantable defibrillators may safely participate in a number of vigorous sports.
- The study challenges some current science recommendations advising against vigorous competitive sports for people with implantable defibrillators.
- People with implantable defibrillators should decide, with their physicians, about whether they can participate in vigorous competitive sports.
EMBARGOED UNTIL 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET, Monday, May 20, 2013
DALLAS, May 20, 2013 — Many people with implantable defibrillators can safely participate in vigorous sports according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in the chest is somewhat similar to a pacemaker, delivering one or more electrical shocks to restore a normal heartbeat when it detects a dangerous rhythm.
Some science recommendations advise people with ICDs not to participate in competitive sports more vigorous than golf or bowling.
“But these recommendations were based on the best judgment of physicians, not actual data looking at the safety of more rigorous sports,” said Rachel Lampert, M.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.
Researchers followed 372 ICD recipients, ages 10-60, for an average of two-and-a-half years each. They included competitive athletes, high school and college athletes and others who participated in vigorous sports such as running, basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, skiing and snowboarding.
In this prospective multinational registry, researchers found that although some athletes received shocks during sports for life-threatening and non-life-threatening heart rhythms, there were no injuries or deaths related to the shocks or the underlying abnormal rhythms.
Seventy-seven people received 121 shocks during the study. Of the total study population:
- 10 percent received shocks while participating in competition or practice.
- 8 percent received shocks during other physical activities.
- 6 percent received shocks while resting.
The rate of shocks among those studied was similar to those reported in previous studies for less active people with implantable defibrillators, Lampert said.
These data suggest that athletes should decide, with their physicians, whether to return to vigorous sports after discussing their specific situation and preferences, Lampert said.
Co-authors are: Brian Olshansky, M.D.; Hein Heidbuchel, M.D.; Christine Lawless, M.D.; Elizabeth Saarel, M.D.; Michael Ackerman, M.D.; Hugh Calkins, M.D.; Mark Estes, M.D.; Mark S. Link, M.D.; Barry J. Maron, M.D.; Frank Marcus, M.D.; Melvin Scheinman, M.D.; Bruce L. Wilkoff, M.D.; Douglas P. Zipes, M.D.; Charles I. Berul, M.D.; Alan Cheng, M.D.; Ian Law, M.D.; Michele Loomis, APRN; Cheryl Barth, B.S.; Cynthia Brandt, M.D.; James Dziura, Ph.D; Fangyong Li, M.S. and David Cannom, M.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.
Boston Scientific, Medtronic and St. Jude Medical funded the study.
For the latest heart and stroke news, follow us on Twitter: @HeartNews.
For updates and new science from Circulation, follow @CircAHA .
Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173
Tagni McRae: (214) 706-1383; Tagni.McRae@heart.org
Bridgette McNeill: (214) 706-1135; Bridgette.McNeill@heart.org
Julie Del Barto (broadcast): (214) 706-1330; Julie.DelBarto@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and strokeassociation.org
- Contact Information
- For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173
- For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721) www.heart.org and www.strokeassociation.org
- American Heart Association
- (1) 214-706-1173
This news content may be integrated into any legitimate news gathering and publishing effort. Linking is permitted.
News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.