Abstract PURPOSE: To assess the cardiovascular health and risk profile in middle-aged males making an entry to participate for their first time in a long-distance race. METHODS: Male first-time participants ≥45 years in the world's largest cross-country running race, the Lidingöloppet, were evaluated with a medical history and physical exam, European risk-SCORE, 12-lead ECG, echocardiography and blood tests. Further diagnostic work-up was performed when clinically indicated. RESULTS: Of 265 eligible runners, 153 (58%, age 51±5 y) completed the study. While the 10-year fatal cardiovascular event risk was low (SCORE: 1% (IQR: 0 - 1%)), mild abnormalities were common, e.g. elevated blood-pressure (19%), left ventricular hypertrophy (6%), elevated LDL cholesterol (5%). ECG changes compatible with "athlete's heart" were present in 82%, e.g. sinus bradycardia (61%) and/or early repolarization (32%). ECG changes considered training-unrelated were found in 24%, e.g. prolonged QTc: 13%; left axis deviation: 5.3%; left atrial enlargement: 4%). In 14 runners (9%) additional diagnostic work-up was clinically motivated, and 4 (2%) were ultimately discouraged from vigorous exercise due to QTc intervals >500 ms (n=2), symptomatic atrioventricular block (n=1), and a cardiac tumor (n=1). The physician exam and the ECG identified 12 of the 14 subjects requiring further evaluation. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiovascular evaluation of middle-aged men, including a physician exam and a 12-lead ECG, appears useful to identify individuals requiring further testing prior to vigorous exercise. The additional yield of routine echocardiography was small.
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Klinisk medicin -- Kardiologi (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Clinical Medicine -- Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems (hsv//eng)