Last updated on October 2018

Atrial Electromechanical Function in Endurance Athletes With and Without Atrial Fibrillation

Brief description of study

This study evaluates cardiac structure and function differences between healthy endurance trained athletes with atrial fibrillation and healthy age matched endurance trained athletes without atrial fibrillation. It is hypothesized that despite having similar structural adaptations of the heart (due to endurance training), athletes with atrial fibrillation display will impaired heart functional measures compared to endurance athletes without atrial fibrillation.

Detailed Study Description

Regular physical activity, including vigorous exercise, lowers cardiovascular risk factors, including the risk of developing Atrial Fibrillation (AF), one of the most commonly diagnosed types of arrhythmias. Paradoxically, despite the cardioprotective effects of exercise, middle aged endurance athletes are at 5 fold risk of developing AF compared to active individuals. Long standing endurance training induces significant changes to the heart- collectively known as the 'athlete's heart.' While these changes may be beneficial for performance, they may be conducive in promoting the risk of AF in this cohort. The aim of this study is to compare cardiac structure and function in endurance athletes diagnosed with AF (n=17) and in healthy aged matched endurance athletes (n=17). Male subjects between ages 45 and 65 years old with a long-standing history of endurance training and competition will be recruited. Heart structure and function will be compared at rest and during submaximal exercise. Participants will also complete fitness assessments and questionnaires that characterize their lifetime involvement in exercise training. This study will address the gap in the literature regarding the interaction of endurance training and AF risk.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03305744

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