Navigation Links
Why athletes are more likely to need pacemakers in old age
Date:5/13/2014

A new study by The University of Manchester has shed light on why athletes are more likely to have abnormal heart rhythms.

Elderly athletes with a lifelong history of training and competing in endurance events like marathons, triathlons and iron man challenges can have heart rhythm disturbances, known as arrhythmias.

The Manchester research in rodents, funded by the British Heart Foundation, shows molecular changes in the heart's pacemaker occur in response to exercise training.

The finding, reported in Nature Communications, overturns the commonly held belief that an increased activity of the autonomic nervous system causes this specific reaction to endurance training.

While normal adults have resting heart rates between 60-100 beats per minute, hearts of endurance athletes can beat only 30 times per minute or even lower at night time when there can be long pauses between heart beats.

Cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Miguel Indurain reportedly had resting heart rates of 30 and 28 beats per minute.

Dr Alicia D'Souza, from The University of Manchester and first author on the paper, said: "The heart rate is set by the heart's pacemaker, but this is controlled by the nervous system. The 'vagal' nerves lower the heart rate and therefore it was assumed the low heart rate of athletes is the result of over activity of the vagal nerves.

"But our research shows this is not the case. Actually the heart's pacemaker changes in response to training and in particular there is a decrease in an important pacemaker protein, known as HCN4, and this is responsible for the low heart rate."

The researchers say these molecular changes in the sinus node - the cardiac structure responsible for generating heart rhythm - may help us to understand the more frequent occurrence of heart rhythm disturbances or even loss of consciousness in athletes.

Professor Mark Boyett, lead researcher on the study, added: "This is important because although normally a low resting heart rate of an athlete does not cause problems, elderly athletes with a lifelong training history are more likely to need an artificial electronic pacemaker fitted."

More than 500 marathons take place in Europe and America each year with around one million participants. The number of people taking part is set to increase by 5% each year.

But Professor Boyett said: "Although endurance exercise training can have harmful effects on the heart, it is more than outweighed by the beneficial effects."

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This study shows the heart's electrical wiring changes in mice that exercise for long periods, and these changes in heart rhythm are sustained afterwards.

"If the findings are reproduced in humans they could have implications for heart health in older athletes. But much more research is needed before we could draw that conclusion."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ali Barbuti
alison.barbuti@manchester.ac.uk
44-016-127-58383
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: Concussion rate in high-school athletes more than doubled in 7-year period
2. Study: Custom-made mouthguards reduce athletes risk of concussion
3. New study finds 2.5 million basketball injuries to high school athletes in 6 seasons
4. Young athletes from higher income families more likely to suffer serious overuse injuries
5. Young athletes with knee pain may turn to meniscus transplant
6. Genetics may explain high-functioning senior athletes with hip abnormalities
7. Sports medicine physical of the future could help athletes ESCAPE sudden cardiac death
8. New NuGo Stronger: First Non-GMO High Protein Bar with rBGH-Free Whey Protein for Serious Athletes
9. Athletes “Toward Injury Prevention in Sports” TIPS Gets Going in Las Vegas
10. How an Internet Start-Up Is Helping Sport Organizations Train Athletes and Raise Money at the Same Time
11. Zensah’s® New Compression Ankle/Calf Sleeves Bring Innovation to Rest and Recovery for Athletes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/26/2017)... ARLINGTON, VA (PRWEB) , ... February 26, 2017 , ... ... Medicaid Managed Care Summit, February 27-28 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, ... work with PerformCARE to use behavioral health analytics to improve Medicaid population health management. ...
(Date:2/25/2017)... ... , ... FCPX users now have the ability to sharpen a desired color ... users have total control over sharpening amount, sharpening radius, threshold, horizontal sharpening, vertical sharpening, ... users can visually see the color range effected with ease all within Final ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... Only two months after the official release of The Private Collection ... XO Private has initiated a second print-run of its lavish luxury travel coffee table ... when open, weighs in at more than six kilos, retails at EUR 1,000 per ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... provost of Liberty University, has officially announced the appointment of Peter A. Bell, ... College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM), beginning April 10. Dr. Bell comes to ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... and hearing disabilities, it is so critically important that we all are aware ... That is why Mediaplanet is proud to announce the launch of its newest ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Empty Capsules ... the next decade to reach approximately $2.9 billion by 2025. ... the given segments on global as well as regional levels presented in ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017  In conjunction with ... 2016 financial results press release, you are invited to ... live over the internet on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 ... A live audio webcast of the presentation ... www.durect.com and clicking "Investor Relations."  If you are ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 Report analyzes the worldwide markets for Endodontic ... for the US, Canada , ... Asia-Pacific , Latin America , and ... the period 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year historic analysis ... derived from primary and secondary research. Company profiles are primarily ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: