Coronary atherosclerosis in middle-aged athletes: Current insights, burning questions, and future perspectives.
SourceClinical Cardiology, 43, 8, (2020), pp. 863-871
01 augustus 2020
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 16: Vascular damage RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Regular exercise training is considered healthy as it reduces the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. Nevertheless, athletes are not immune to the development of cardiovascular diseases and recent studies reported a higher prevalence of coronary artery calcifications and atherosclerotic plaques in athletes compared to less active controls. These observations have raised many questions among sport scientists, sports cardiologists, amateur athletes, and the general population. For example, Are athletes (not) immune for coronary atherosclerosis? How to assess coronary atherosclerosis in athletes? What about chalk (calcified plaque) and cheese (mixed plaque)? Does exercise intensity play a role? Are there sport-related differences? Are there sex differences? Can sports medical evaluation detect coronary atherosclerosis? Do athletes get worried? Should athletes get worried? How should athletes with coronary atherosclerosis be managed? The goal of this review is to discuss the latest scientific insights and to answer these important questions. Furthermore, we will explore potential clinical implications and point out directions for further research.
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