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Common Heart Problems in Athletes

Although athletes most likely live a healthy lifestyle, you are still at risk for heart problems. You can suffer from heart-related conditions at any point in your life. The best course of action is to get informed about the different risks and seek medical attention from a cardiologist if you experience any heart symptoms. Our cardiologists at Brookhaven Heart are more than happy to keep your heart strong and prevent heart disease. 

Changes to the Heart in Athletes

Demanding workouts can trigger psychological changes to the heart. This is known as an athlete’s heart, and it is when the heart grows in size and has thicker muscle walls. High endurance activity is what creates an athlete’s heart. Although this isn’t a medical condition or causes any harm on its own, it is a change that your body will undergo as an athlete. 

Heart Problems that Impact Athletes

There are quite a bit of heart conditions that can impact you, but some of the more common ones include:

Congenital Heart Disease

This involves abnormalities in the heart structure that are present at birth. Approximately one-quarter of the population deals with congenital heart disease, which is also known as congenital heart defects. In a visual sense, there is a “hole” in the heart that may not cause any symptoms at all, although for some athletes it can become a serious health complication later in life.

Inherited Heart Conditions

Some cardiac disorders, such as high cholesterol and arrhythmia can be inherited. Coronary heart disease may lead to a stroke, heart attack, or heart failure. This also runs in families.


This is the most common cardiovascular disease among athletes and people who are physically active. It is also known as high blood pressure and becomes more prevalent with age, but begins in early adulthood.


This refers to the abnormal beating of the heart. Either it beats too fast, too slow, or irregularly. This can lead to other heart problems and it can impact people of all ages.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Among young athletes, this heart problem is the leading cause of death. You are twice as likely to experience sudden cardiac death than young non-athletes. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is when electrical problems in the heart cause an extremely rapid heart rate. This interrupts blood flow and prevents the heart from pumping blood to vital organs. Some signs that indicate you may be having a SCA are shortness of breath, chest pain, and fainting during physical activity.

Keep Your Heart in Check with Brookhaven Heart 

Although a healthy diet and physical activity can lower the chances of heart problems, you could still be at risk for them due to age, family history, or other factors. If you experience chest pain or pressure, unusual shortness of breath, fainting, unexplained decline in exercise tolerance, or unusual heart racing, get in touch with Brookhaven Heart today. Schedule an appointment with our cardiologists and get your heart checked out. Let us help you stay strong and fit for many years to come.

Welcome to Brookhaven Heart

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