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How to play sports until the 90 years, and not die in the attempt? Ultrasound of the heart to avoid sudden death

The heart changes as the years go by and especially if we play sports.

It is becoming more and more common to see on television young athletes in football matches, marathons, where they have suffered sudden death, and this makes us think that a Stress test is not enough to rule out if there's a heart problem, that's why we talked to Cristian Gabriel Casseus to tell us the best option to rule out a heart problem.

Cristian Gabriel Casseus, cardiologist, specialized in cardiovascular imaging and sports cardiology is currently a cardiologist responsible for the Sports Medicine Unit of Reebok Sport Club of Madrid, besides being the sports cardiologist in Mallorca Sport Medicine of the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Palma de Mallorca and of the Juaneda Sport in Rafa Nadal Sport Center.

What is an ultrasound of the heart?

La Echocardiography it is the study by which we see the heart inside, its walls, its shape, its power of contraction, as well as its size and the correct functioning of its valves.

It is the most indicated study for rule out the main causes of sudden cardiac death in athletes younger than 40 years.

When should we have an ultrasound of the heart?

In the particular case of triathletes and many other sports, the most important thing is Visually discard any affectation that could favor a serious event, rule out hereditary effects, as a first point, and as secondary and also relevant data, evaluate the changes that sport originates in your heart.

From what age do we have to "worry"?

Al end of adolescence It is the ideal time to perform an echocardiogram depending on the family and personal background of the athlete, the intensity of the sport performed.

This was recently corroborated by a detailed study by the Catalan sports council, led by Dr. Gonzalo Grazioli, demonstrating that in terms of complementary studies, The Electrocardiogram and the Echocardiogram are the most suitable in order to avoid sudden death in adolescent, federated athletes. And it was more cost-effective than a simple or concise valuation.

The electrocardiogram added to a clinical assessment, would be ideal at the beginning of adolescence, where the sport begins to be more intense.

How often should we do an ultrasound of the heart?

Depending on the level of intensity, the most advisable is once a year. ITV annual.

After an initial assessment at the end of adolescence, from the 25-30 years onwards if the sport is practiced at moderate-high intensity levels at a rate of more than 4 times per week.

Are there changes in the heart as the years go by?

Yes, and especially if we play sports.

What is an echocardiography in effort?

It is a very interesting question. This type of Stress echocardiography they let us assess the functioning of the heart during the same exercise, being this not only valued by the classic Electrocardiogram of the Effort Test, but also by means of the Evaluation of the movement and functioning of the walls and valves of the heart by means of the Echocardiogram.

This allows us something very important, which is increase to 85% the diagnostic accuracy of the conventional Effort Test, especially aimed at assessing the disease of the arteries of the heart. Almost an 30% more precision diagnoses with respect to the classic stress test.

Did you know that in 1 of each 6 conventional stress tests in cardiology that have a normal result may not be normal?

It is because of that this test would be more oriented to older or veteran athletes, or with some cardiovascular risk factor. This allows both the athlete and his coach, to train with greater safety despite high loads of effort. Other interesting indications of this test, would be to assess the performance of athletes with some cardiac involvement.

For your echocardiogram we recommend:

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