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Does Deep Bradycardia Increase the Risk of Arrhythmias and Syncope in Endurance Athletes?

Abstract : The aim of this study was to evaluate whether endurance athletes who exhibit deep bradycardia are more prone to arrhythmias and reflex syncope than their non-bradycardic peers. 46 healthy men (ages 19-35) were divided into 3 groups based on whether they were sedentary (SED,<2 h/week) or endurance trained (ET,>6 h/week), and non-bradycardic (NB, resting heart rate (HR)≥60 bpm) or bradycardic (B, resting HR<50 bpm). Resting HR was lower in ETB vs. ETNB and SED (43.8±3.1, 61.3±3.3, 66.1±5.9 bpm, respectively; p<0.001). Thus, 16 SED, 13 ETNB and 17 ETB underwent resting echocardiography, maximal exercise test, tilt test (TT) and 24 h-Holter ECG. Subjects were followed-up during 4.7±1.1 years for training, syncope and cardiac events. Our results showed that incidence of arrhythmias and hypotensive susceptibility did not differ between groups. During follow-up, no episode of syncope or near-syncope was reported. However, cardio-inhibitory syncope occurrence tended to be higher in ETB. Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter index was increased in ETB vs. ETNB and was correlated with resting HR (r=- 0.64; p<0.001). As a result, athletes with deep bradycardia do not present more arrhythmias and more hypotensive susceptibility than their non-bradycardic peers. Cardiac enlargement and autonomic alteration both seem to be involved in an athlete's bradycardia. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart. New York.
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Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Friday, October 14, 2016 - 11:40:07 AM
Last modification on : Friday, January 15, 2021 - 3:33:41 AM



D. Matelot, F. Schnell, N. Khodor, N. Endjah, G. Kervio, et al.. Does Deep Bradycardia Increase the Risk of Arrhythmias and Syncope in Endurance Athletes?. International Journal of Sports Medicine, Thieme Publishing, 2016, 37 (10), pp.792--798. ⟨10.1055/s-0035-1569348⟩. ⟨hal-01381261⟩



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