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.
Published In/Presented At
Abbatemarco, J. R., Bennett, C., Bell, A. J., Dunne, L., & Matsumura, M. E. (2016). Application of pre-participation cardiovascular screening guidelines to novice older runners and endurance athletes. SAGE Open Medicine,42050312115616136. doi:10.1177/2050312115616136.
Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Sports Medicine
Department of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Faculty, Sports Medicine Division, Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty, Department of Medicine Fellows and Residents, Fellows and Residents