Arrhythmias and Sudden Death in Athletes

Antonio Bayés de Luna,

Arrhythmias and Sudden Death in Athletes
 
 
Cardiovascular diseases are the most important causes of death in the world today. In adults, the most frequent heart disease is acute myocardial infarction, which can lead to sudden death. To prevent these diseases we need to fight against their main risk factors, which include smoking, lipid disorders, hypertension, diabetes and a sedentary life-style, among others. It has been demonstrated that physical exercise or sports at any age provide notable benefits and can help to decrease other risk factors and reduce the incidence of cardio­ vascular diseases. Exercise can be simply walking or cycling. Aerobic exercise con­ tributes to weight loss and also helps to control blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. It therefore plays an important role in prevention of heart diseases. Sports for young people are of great value and advisable not only because they con­ tribute to physical fitness but also because they help in psychological well-being. Young people should be encouraged to include general exercise, and particularly sports, into their daily activities. The following points however, should be kept in mind: I. Although winning at a sport is important, this is only so if it is achieved in natural physical conditions and with the correct training. Therefore, it is advisable to keep well away from any type of activity which artificially increases physical performance, that is, drug taking.


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