The risk of cardiac diseases increases with age and becomes life – long independent risk factor. The presence of age as an independent risk factor, that makes preventive testing for otherwise healthy individuals specifically important for each and every physically active individual above 50 years old.
Statistically, about 6% of all Swedish persons aged > 60 get atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is also pretty common cardiac disorder in rather well trained athletes as well. Today about 300 000 Swedish people suffer from chronic atrial fibrillation which also increases risk of stroke, thus annually 6000 Swedish persons get stroke as a direct result of atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation can both be without symptoms, or so called asymptomatic, and/or manifest with serious symptoms those can lead to cardiac arrest. Modern research has today given the ability to minimize and cure atrial fibrillation. (information collected from Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation)
Doing an initial load and real time ECG testing at Paliesius clinic or during the race is an important preventive action to avoid cardiac arrest for master athletes.
Initial full scale testing at Paliesius clinic
Testing scheme developed at Paliesius clinic gives a full picture of body’s tolerance for physical load, recovery and cardiac health risks.
Testing starts with comprehensive initial risk assessment with medical history and a combination of several important test panels, for ex. blood tests with cholesterol and further blood profile analysis which can provide important health information. In the clinical setting we also test and evaluate ischemic lesions by performing a load test (CPET). Cardiac ultrasonography (echoscopy) is done when needed, where we can determine and evaluate structural changes in your heart.
After initial full scale testing in Clinic, cardiac testing program enters so called “field phase”, where the surface, terrain, gaits, and speeds and time duration used are more closely aligned to the demands that you face during exercise or competition in the ‘real world’.
During testing at Paliesius clinic we monitor several parameters for ex. real time BG ECG (US patent), conventional 12 lead ECG, blood pressure dynamics, determine lactate curve for peripheral muscle reaction control and real time exercise glucose blood concentration response.
Real time ECG is one of the cornerstones in the testing. Conventional ECG is parallel way done with 12 lead during controlled load in the clinic and in the field to get real world conditions.
When assessing changes in blood pressure during and after physical activity we see the body’s response and tolerance to the physical load.
Lactate is measured to assess the muscular response of the load and the amount of stress on your muscular system. The amount of lactate acid tells us if the muscular system is getting enough oxygen or if it you are forced to enter in to an anaerobic exercise process.
Periodical glucose level control in blood is important to monitor energy levels during the activity, and the body’s ability to keep physical endurance reflected by even glucose level during exercise or competition.
Cardiac Rhythm Testing during competition
During the race, continuous monitoring of ECG (BG system, US patented) is recorded and we can detect heart rhythm and conducting system disorders (extrasystolic rythm, paroxysmal tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, etc.). Since this test does not show any ischemic disorders we can only suspect some ischemic disorders and recommend further examinations if needed.
How often should you test?
With increased age, changes can occur very fast and the standard recommendations is to get tested every 6 to 12 months for asymptomatic active master athletes. After initial testing personalized Conclusions and Recommendations are always made describing your risk levels in regard to physical activity and the need (if any) for further examinations. For low and middle level risk patients recommendations on personalized physical activity are always made as well.
The purpose of our tests are to assess personal cardiac risks, physical capacity, and cardiovascular response to physical exercise during real time and life conditions. Age is important in assessing changes however, we do not divide the tests by age.
Older athletes strive to maintain or even improve upon the performance achievements of that younger years but the declines in athletic performance are inevitable with aging. Life is life…
However, statistics show, that peak exercise performance of master athletes continues to increase each year In certain athletic events. For instance, marathon running, master athletes over 70 years of age have surpassed the winning time of the first Olympic Games held in Athens 1896. This fact puts more demands on health testing for veteran athletes and their specific demands and wishes.
We constantly evaluate and assess our protocols to make sure we do up to date and relevant testing for each and every master athlete.
CURRENT PROGRAM DATES:
8 – 11 April
15 – 18 April
6 – 9 May
17-21 Juni 5 day training camp in preparation for WMOC 2019