May 17, 2022
University of Leeds Study Heart Health in Endurance Athletes

The University of Leeds project will see the men, all aged over 50, fitted with a small monitor under the skin on their chest to record their heartbeat.

Below is an excerpt from a BBC News report on the University of Leeds study.

enduranceThe British Heart Foundation (BHF) wants to find out if heart scarring in some athletes is linked to abnormal rhythms.

It is hoped the results will inform future research on ways to avoid heart damage in sports.

The charity, which funded the £320,000 project, said heart scarring is a “key feature” of many heart diseases and has a strong association with abnormal heart rhythms, which can cause a life-threatening cardiac arrest.

A similar, previous study found that around half of those monitored developed scarring on their heart, though the exact cause was unclear.

It is thought it may be a result of their levels of exercise, as the heart must work harder to pump blood during endurance sports like long-distance running and cycling, the BHF said.

Among the 106 male participants, who all exercise for more than ten hours a week, is 55-year-old Welsh cyclist and runner Gethin Davies-Jones, who lost two close family members to heart problems.
Mr. Davies-Jones, who lives near Caerphilly, said: “The experience I’ve had in my life of losing my mum when I was young, and my brother, who I felt was a young man even, though he was the age I am now, has had a dramatic impact on my life.

“I would hate for other people to have to suffer that.

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“That’s why my interest in this study is so immediate and deep, as it will help me understand more about my own heart health.”

To read the full story from the BBC about the study on endurance athletes, click here

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