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Sudden cardiac arrest during sports activities is relatively low among physically active middle-aged adults, according to research in the American Heart Association
When researchers applied their findings to the overall population of the United States, they estimated 2,269 sports-associated sudden cardiac arrest events would occur among men and 136 among women per year in the 35-65-year-old group.
"Our study findings reinforce the idea of the high-benefit, low-risk nature of exercise in middle age and emphasize the importance of education to maximize safety, particularly as the population ages and more baby boomers increasingly take part in sports activities to prolong their lives," said Sumeet Chugh, M.D., the study's senior author and associate director for genomic cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, California.
Researchers suggest promoting education for basic life support skills also can be beneficial. Of the sudden cardiac arrest cases evaluated in this study, a larger percentage of survivors were in the sports-associated group and more likely to be in a public place where they were more likely to receive bystander CPR, Chugh said. "For any kind of preventive intervention, education is very important and can be more efficient when provided in a targeted manner."
The authors conclude that targeted education can maximize both safety and acceptance of sports activity in the middle-aged group.
The research is based on the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study, an ongoing community-based study of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests.
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