Children and young adults
The European Society of Cardiology recommend that all children over 12 years old and all adults undertaking competitive sport should undergo sports cardiology screening every 2 years. Competitive sport is defined as any sport that involves competition or regular training.
Please click the following link to read the ESC exercise recommendations paper.
Veteran and Masters Athletes
Increasing numbers of athletes are able to continue their athletic activities into middle and even old age. A Masters or Veteran athlete has a different risk profile to the younger athlete. The main risk is coronary artery disease. This is a condition where the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle are gradually blocked causing chest pain on exercise or even a heart attack. Coronary artery disease is the most common cause of death in the developed world. Although regular exercise can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, there are many other important risk factors including a history of cigarette smoking and a family history of heart attacks.
The American Heart Association recommend that all Masters athletes who undertake vigorous exercise should be assessed for risk factors for coronary artery disease ( for example; high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated cholesterol or a history of a heart attack in close relatives under 60 years old). They define a Masters athlete as men over 40 years old and women over 50 years old or after the menopause.
Please click the following link to read the AHA recommendation.
Professional and Elite athletes
Sports Cardiology Ireland also provide a screening and assessment service for established club, professional and elite athletes. There is some evidence to suggest that certain cardiac arrhythmias are more common in athletes (for example, atrial fibrillation). Similarly, the process of regular training can occasionally bring out or accentuate a minor underlying cardiac anomaly.