HEART RHYTHM 2005 Meeting Highlights

May 06, 2005, 01:00 ET from Heart Rhythm Society

    NEW ORLEANS, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The following studies on diet &
 exercise are being presented during HEART RHYTHM 2005, the Heart Rhythm
 Society's 26th Annual Scientific Sessions May 4-7 in New Orleans:
     Increased, Long-Term Exercise Reduces Women's Risk of Sudden Cardiac
     Women may reduce their risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by exercising
 more and over a longer period of time. While moderate to vigorous physical
 activity in women was associated with a short-term increase in the risk of
 SCA, the risk was lessened amid women who reported more weekly exercise.
 Moreover, the overall long-term risk of SCA during the study's 18 years of
 follow up was lower with increased physical activity. Among almost 70,000
 women without cardiovascular disease or history of stroke, the relative risk
 of SCA within one hour of moderate/vigorous exertion was 6.2. But for women
 with two or more hours of moderate/vigorous exertion a week, the risk was 3.3
 -- compared to 20.9 for women who exercised less than two hours a week. The
 study is the first to assess both the short- and long-term risk of SCA
 conferred by exercise among women. Investigators at Massachusetts General
 Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston say, "Although it is
 difficult to compare our study with similar ones conducted among men, our
 study suggests the risk of SCA associated with physical activity may be lower
 in women than in men."
     Marathoners Run Increased Risk of Abnormal, Rapid Heart Beat
     Athletes who participate in endurance sports such as marathons are
 significantly more likely to experience atrial fibrillation (AF) than are
 inactive people. While marathoners fare far better than sedentary individuals
 on cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure and
 heart rate, endurance runners are eight to 14 times more likely to develop AF.
 The 10-year study compared 305 inactive people to 270 athletes who ran in the
 1993 Barcelona Marathon. AF was documented in eight runners and two control
 group individuals. Investigators at the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain,
 conclude that " ... although endurance sport practice may reduce
 cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, it may also have a
 negative effect in facilitating the appearance of lone atrial fibrillation."
     Electrical Imbalance May Contribute To Sudden Cardiac Death In Obese Men
 (Poster Session)
     Electrical imbalances in the heart may be a risk factor for sudden cardiac
 death (SCD) in obese men. The community-based study in Multnomah, OR,
 evaluated the electrocardiograms of more than 300 residents who suffered
 sudden cardiac death and found the QT intervals (the time for electrical
 relaxation of the heart's lower chambers) in obese men were significantly
 longer than people of normal weight. Long QT intervals are predictors for SCD.
 In women, QT intervals were not affected by obesity. Investigators at Oregon
 Health & Science University in Portland hope to find novel ways of preventing
 SCD in the general population.

SOURCE Heart Rhythm Society