Abstract 16566: Sports Participation Before and After Cardiac Arrest: Data From a National Survey of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors
Introduction: The relationship between sports participation and sudden death risk remains unclear. Also, to what extent individuals alter their sports participation after arrest has not been described.
Methods: Survivors of sudden cardiac arrest registered with the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (Washington, DC, N=591) were invited via email link between 10/12 and 11/12 to participate in a survey regarding circumstances before and after their cardiac arrest.
Results: Respondents (N= 189, 32%) were mean 55± SD12 years old, 55% male, 94% white, with arrest within the last two years in 22%, two to five years in 38%, and greater than five years ago 63%. A known diagnosis prior to arrest was present in 35% and 51% were ultimately diagnosed with CAD. 78% received an ICD post-arrest. Thirty percent of patients reported participation in organized sports prior to arrest, most commonly running or softball/baseball. Those participating in sports pre-arrest were younger, 46 ± SE1.8 vs 52±1.2 years, p<0.02, but there was no difference in presence of prior diagnosis. Arrest during exercise was more common in sports participants, 62%, versus non-participants, 33%, p<0.001. Arrest during exercise was also more common in those with CAD, 62% vs 32% (p<0.01). After controlling for CAD and age, participation in sports remained an independent predictor of exercise preceding arrest. After arrest, 19% of survivors were participating in sports: 54% of those doing sports before returned, and 22% started sports after the arrest. Of 34 individuals who arrested during strenuous activity, 50% reported participating in organized sports after the arrest.
Conclusion: Among cardiac arrest survivors, arrest during exercise was more common in those who had participated in organized sports. Whether vigorous exercise increases the likelihood of arrest overall, or, rather impacts when arrest takes place, is an important avenue of future research. Many SCA survivors continue to engage in organized sports, even when their arrest occurred during strenuous exercise.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.