Heart screenings for the super healthy

Can being a couch potato lead to heart disease? It may. Many healthcare professionals may say it is a variable contributor. Of course there are those who aspire for athletics and the highest levels of competition. These seem very healthy but research from a relatively new cardiology specialty group are indicating that these athlete wannabe’s may also be heart attack candidates. Do you think athletes need heart screenings?

Concerns about ergonomics contribute to advances in keeping professional athletes safer from repetitive sports injuries. With more critical performance standards toward achieving fame and victory, some pre-Olympic athletes are placed under severe stress during training and pre-trials. Among elite performances, heart issues may develop. Should athletes be subject to routine heart screenings?

Heart screenings are usually recommended as routine care for older people with potential risks for possible heart attacks. According to Dr. Paolo Adami of the Italian Olympic committee, heart screenings should be routinely prescribed for elite athletes.

Adami, of the Institute of Sport Medicine and Science of the Italian Olympic Committee has studied 2,354 elite athletes shortlisted for the Olympic Games. Results of his study at a European Society of Cardiology meeting (Sports Cardiology Section), Dr. Adami noted that over 300 athletes had life-threatening conditions that could still be managed with medical expertise. Six athletes had to be disqualified from taking part in the competitions when it became apparent they faced risks of death at the races or games.

The data was taken from 2002 to 2014 screenings that includes a physical examination, echocardiography, 12-lead and exercise ECG and to further confirm some diagnoses, a 24-hour ECG monitoring was administered.

Of course, there are dissenters. Dr. Michael Knapton from the British Heart Foundation says that the screening is not too reliable enough for all athletes and some possible Olympic stars may not reach the Olympics, based on stringent testing.

Getting a correct diagnosis or prediction of a possible health condition may be a life altering experience for better or worse. With new research and testing, what was once considered a fatal risk is no longer a threat. Consequently, what was once unknown, may now show signs of imminent danger.

For those who are potential risks for heart disease (i.e. elevated cholesterol, obesity), frequent heart screenings may be good indicators and paths to longevity. The fears may be justified even among those who may not seem likely heart problem candidates.

Much emphasis is placed on potential athletes. Rigorous training and financial successes are often positively correlated. Sadly, the results of succeeding through often insurmountable obstacles may take a toll on young adolescents driven to compete. Stress or something else? Heart screenings are one way to help prevent an unimaginable accident.

The shock is that superheroes among the athletic elite, whether a consequence of stress or some genetic fluke, may benefit from routine heart screenings as they train to reach new goals. Dr. Adami’s research cites a little but just enough evidence that even the most athletic individuals and their families must also confront possibly early mortality.