Pre-participation cardiac screening in athletes

In recent decades, it has become increasingly clear that engaging in some type of sports activity can improve the cardiovascular system and prevent cardiac events. However, it is essential to engage in sports activities safely in order to provide the most benefits possible. Sports cardiology is the tool to help in this regard, as it can detect cardiac problems that have gone unnoticed. In addition, it promotes the development of a prevention-oriented way of thinking.
A complete history of the patient is initially obtained, with a focus on cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity ...) and a clinical examination is performed. Subsequently, depending on the findings, further screening can be individualized, which may include:

- An electrocardiogram to identify possible arrhythmias, anatomical abnormalities of the heart, and some genetic syndromes that may cause life-threatening arrhythmias.

- Triplex (ultrasound) of the heart to assess the anatomy and functionality of the heart, helping to identify potential cardiac problems.

- Treadmill stress test to evaluate various functional parameters of the cardiovascular system and coronary artery disease.

- Holter monitor for assessing potential life threatening arrhythmias.
Sports cardiology is aimed at all adults who intend to start a sports activity. In particular, some groups of people may benefit more from cardiac control - Adults who have previously had sedentary lives and want to start an activity. Especially if there is a family history of coronary heart disease, or if they have one or more cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, arterial hypertension, hyperlipidemia. - Men over 45 years old. - Women over 50 - Anyone who has symptoms that may be related to heart problems (dizziness, tiredness, chest pain, shortness of breath). - Anyone with palpitations, tachycardia or arrhythmias. - The one reporting pain in the effort. In conclusion, sports cardiology is a tool for the correct and timely detection and treatment of cardiovascular problems. Regular visits to your cardiologist can detect heart disease by preventing serious complications and making your sport participation more safe.