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EACPR  - Sports Cardiology Section Chairman

Antonio Pelliccia

Proposers and Seconders

  • Hugo Saner & Dan Gaita
  • Miguel Mendes & S. Adamopoulos
  • Hans Björnstad & Luc Vanhees & A. Deligiannis

Vision Statement l CV

“The origin

“The origin

The nucleus of the Sports Cardiology section had its origin at the Course in Sports Cardiology, organized by initiative of Dr Alessandro Biffi, and held in the Heart House of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in September 2001. The course raised such an intense interest among the attendees, representing 18 European countries, that the decision was taken to initiate an international cooperative work in this area. In August 2002, the Study Group of Sports Cardiology was founded by Antonio Pelliccia, Domenico Corrado, Hans Bjornstad and Luc Vanhees during the ESC scientific meeting in Vienna, and officially recognized within the Working Group on Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation of the ESC, chaired by Hans Bjornstad.

The mission

The mission of the section of Sports Cardiology is to promote research and share knowledge in the field of cardiovascular (CV) medicine applied to exercise and sport. The field of “Sports Cardiology” includes, although is not limited to, the physiologic CV adaptations induced by exercise training and sport participation, as well as the impact of sport activities on the clinical course and outcome of patients with a spectrum of CV diseases. Indeed, aim of the section of Sports Cardiology is to provide the most prudent and scientifically proved recommendations for prevention of adverse CV events induced by sport participation in individuals with (even concealed) CV disease, as well as the most appropriate strategies to implement safe physical activity in individuals without known CV disease.

The achievements

The section of Sports Cardiology has already published in the European Heart Journal two major documents, regarding the “Preparticipation Cardiovascular Screening of Young Athletes” and the “Recommendations for Competitive Sports Participation in Athletes with Cardiovascular Disease”, which represent the updated consensus documents providing directions, respectively, for identification of CV disease prior entering athletic activity, and the appropriate management of sport activities in individuals with known cardiac disease. These documents are of relevant medical and legal value for physicians and cardiologists and may have substantial impact on medical care of athletes, by enhancing the safe participation in sport and reducing the legal controversies related to different (or lack of ) regulations within the European countries.

The next projects

The next projects of the section include:

  • The long version of the “Recommendations” for leisure physical activity and competitive sport participation in patients with CV disease. This document will provide directions for leisure physical activity and sport participation and applies to a larger variety of patients than the previously published Recommendations. This document includes several manuscripts, each with a list of authors, and the topics are systemic hypertension, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathies and Marfan syndrome, congenital heart disease, acquired valvular disease. In addition, a chapter describing the CV effect of doping agents will be released with the contribution of the entire group. At present, the first articles regarding systemic hypertension, ischemic heart disease and supraventricular arrhythmias have been published (or are in publication) in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Prevention.
  • Study regarding the implementation of cardiac defibrillators in the athletic field in Europe. The colleagues Mats Borjesson, Dorian Dugmore and Luis Serratosa are collecting data regarding this issue. The contribution of colleagues from other countries is warranted, and contacts with factories producing defibrillators should be established to look for possible economic funding.
  • Proposal for preparticipation screening evaluation of a large cohort of population with the protocol recommended by our “Preparticipation Cardiovascular Screening of Young Athletes” document. Dr Klaus Peter Mellwig (in Germany), in cooperation with other colleagues are evaluating the feasibility and the organization of this study. At this regard, Dr Assanelli is ready to cooperate by searching funding by the Italian company Cardioline, which will offer machines to record and store digital ECGs. This initiative represents an opportunity to achieve a data-base of the ECG recordings which may be utilized for scientific purposes.

The organization

The definite structure of the Sports Cardiology section will be established after my position as chairman will be officially accepted. As a proposal, it has been suggested that, in addition with a co-chairman and secretary, also a board of experts and/or advisors could be included, who will be in charge for the achievement of the above cited projects and future initiatives of the Sports Cardiology”.