Athletes with Long QT Syndrome Can Safely Return To Sports

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a rare condition that’s characterized by fast and chaotic heartbeats. Episodes have the potential to cause fainting, seizures, or even death. Because of this, affected individuals should avoid any trigger that could cause their heartbeat to speed up. Many patients with LQTS must stop participating in sports because of it, something that can be devastating for an athlete. Luckily, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the majority of athletes with LQTS can return to their sport (after receiving the okay from their doctor, of course).

About the Study

Researchers evaluated a total of 672 athletes within a retrospective study, all of whom were diagnosed with sudden cardiac death predisposing genetic heart diseases. They had a focus on LQTS, with 494 participants diagnosed with this condition. All of the participants had been given the okay to return to their sport.

Results include:

  • 16.0% of LQTS patients displayed symptoms before they were diagnosed
  • 11.7% of LQTS patients had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • One or more non-fatal LQTS cardiac events occurred in 5.9% of patients
    • 3.0% were actively competing in their sport when these events occurred
  • In 2,056 combined years of follow-up, there were no fatal events related to sports
  • For every 100 years of follow-up, the rate of events was 1.16 non-fatal events

These results show us that the majority of athletes do not need to worry about returning to their sport after receiving the proper diagnosis, treatment, and go-ahead from their doctor.

About LQTS

Long QT syndrome is a rare heart rhythm condition that is characterized by fast, chaotic heartbeats. These heartbeats can cause seizures, fainting, and even death. Episodes typically coincide with sleeping or waking up. All of these symptoms are the result of a change in the heart’s electrical recharging system, which can be the result of a genetic abnormality, taking certain medications, and low levels of magnesium, potassium, or calcium in the blood. In order to combat the episodes of chaotic heartbeats, doctors can prescribe potassium, fish oil, beta-blockers, pacemakers, and mexiletine. Left cardiac sympathetic denervation surgery is another option.

Find the source article here.

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