Author + information
- Philip Aagaard,
- Shishir Sharma,
- David McNamara,
- Elizabeth Hill,
- Colby Ayers,
- James Gentry,
- Andrew E. Lincoln,
- Alexander Kezia,
- Reginald Dunn,
- Andrew Tucker,
- Parag Joshi and
- Dermot Phelan
Long-term endurance sport participation is associated with an increased risk of cardiac conduction disease and arrhythmias, however, there is limited data on the long-term impact of strength type sports. The aim of this study was to compare cardiac conduction and the prevalence of arrhythmias in former National Football League (NFL) players to a sedentary control.
This is a cross-sectional study comparing former NFL players (n=460, age 56 ± 12 years, African American 47 %) to a non-athletic control group from the population-based cardiovascular cohort Dallas Heart Study-2 (n=925, age 53.9 ± 8.6 years, African American 53 %). Former NFL players were invited to participate in cardiovascular screening, comprised of a cardiovascular history, blood work, a 12-lead ECG, and an echocardiogram.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) was present in 28 individuals (n=23 (5 %) in NFL group; n=5 (0.5 %) in control group). Multivariable regression analysis controlling for age, hypertension, body mass index (BMI), and race, showed that former NFL players had an odds ratio (OR) of 5.5 (95 % CI: 2.0 - 15.4) of prevalent AF. Age (OR: 1.08; 95 % CI: 1.04 - 1.13) and BMI (OR: 1.13 95 % CI: 1.05 - 1.22), were also independent predictors of AF, while race, hypertension, and diabetes were not. AF prevalence in the NFL group did not vary according to player position (lineman vs. non-lineman). Former NFL athletes also had a 10-fold higher prevalence of pacemaker implantation (2.0 % vs 0.2 %, P<0.01), compared to controls. Furthermore, former NFL athletes had lower resting heart rates (60 ± 8 BPM vs 67 ± 9 BPM, P<0.01), a higher prevalence of first-degree AV block (18 ± 6 % vs. 8 ± 4, P<0.01), and longer QRS intervals 93 ms ± 6 vs 96 ± 7 ms, P<0.01), all in line with a slower impulse formation and propagation. Finally, former NFL athletes had a higher prevalence of ventricular (4.1 ± 1.8 % vs. 1.5 ± 0.9 %, p=0.03), but not atrial ectopic beats (1.3 ± 0.6 % vs. 1.2 ± 0.5 %, p=ns).
Former participation in the NFL was associated with an increased prevalence of AF and cardiac conduction system disease, compared to a population-based cohort.
Moderated Poster Contributions
Arrhythmias and Clinical EP Moderated Poster Theater, Poster Hall, Hall A/B
Monday, March 12, 2018, 1:00 p.m.-1:10 p.m.
Session Title: New Developments in Arrhythmias
Abstract Category: 07. Arrhythmias and Clinical EP: Sports and Exercise
Presentation Number: 1317M-07
- 2018 American College of Cardiology Foundation