Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Keywords

Cardiovascular, sports medicine, pre-participation evaluation, stress testing, marathon

Abstract

Objectives: Despite robust growth in participation in marathons and endurance sports among older individuals, guidance regarding pre-participation cardiovascular evaluation of these athletes is lacking. The objective of this study was to assess the utility of currently available pre-participation cardiovascular evaluation guidelines as applied to a cohort of older novice endurance athletes.

Methods: We applied data from 1457 novice runners and endurance athletes aged 35 years and older to two pre-participation screening tools, the American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine Pre-Participation Questionnaire and the 2001 Working Group recommendations for pre-participation screening of masters athletes (2001 Masters).

Results: Application of the American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine Pre-Participation Questionnaire identified 42.1% for which pre-participation cardiovascular evaluation was indicated. Of those who met criteria, 51.5% reported completion of a healthcare evaluation. Application of the 2001 Masters guidelines identified 75.2% who qualified for pre-participation electrocardiogram and 34.0% for pre-participation stress testing. Of those who met 2001 Masters criteria for pre-participation testing, 43.7% and 24.6% underwent recommended electrocardiogram and stress testing, respectively. While there was modest concordance with recommendations for pre-participation evaluations based on both American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine Pre-Participation Questionnaire and 2001 Masters, only athlete age was independently associated with completion of a pre-participation healthcare evaluation and only athlete age and athlete’s participation in marathons were independently associated with pre-participation stress testing.

Conclusion: Among older novice endurance athletes, application of the American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine Pre-Participation Questionnaire and 2001 Masters guidelines identifies a significant percentage of athletes for whom pre-participation evaluation and testing are recommended. Concordance with these guidelines was modest and providers were primarily influenced by athlete age and competitive goals when planning pre-participation testing. Given the rarity of cardiovascular events among older participants in endurance events, the cost-effectiveness of the American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine Pre-Participation Questionnaire and 2001 Masters guidelines may be unacceptable for general use.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2050312115616136

Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Citation / Publisher Attribution

SAGE Open Medicine, v. 4, p. 1-8

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Yes

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