Exercise no risk to healthy older adults

Healthy, older adults free of heart disease need not fear that bouts of rapid, irregular heartbeats brought on by vigorous exercise might increase either the short or long-term risk of dying or having a heart attack, according to a report by heart experts and the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Researchers say such fears surfaced after previous studies found that episodes of errant heart rhythms, more formally known as non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, more than double the chance of sudden death in people who have already suffered a heart attack.

However, in a study presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando, the research team monitored the medical records of 2,234 initially healthy men and women, ages 21 to 96 for an average 12 years. They found no adverse effects resulting from brief episodes of exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia in adults with no earlier signs of heart disease.

Lead study investigator and cardiologist Joseph Marine, M.D., says the study results should “provide reassurance” among apparently healthy middle aged and older people that such short episodes of ventricular tachycardia provoked on exercise testing do not have long-term consequences to health.

Source: Medical News Today
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