Are your patients ready for exercise?
At a time when 63% of us are overweight – and 28% of us are obese – it’s no surprise that governments, businesses and celebrity trainers alike are encouraging people to exercise.
But while more exercise is a good thing, are your patients really ready for exercise?
The fact is, the existence of heart disease – or a propensity for it – isn’t something that can be determined through external observation. “If you’re slim and young, you probably won’t know if you have high cholesterol, or hypertension,” says Dr Fiona Foo of Sydney Cardiology’s Sports Cardiology Clinic.
The heart-stopping facts
- Cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes.
- Someone has a heart attack in Australia every 10 minutes.
- Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in Australia.
- Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for athletes under 35.
- Hypertension is present in about 30% of adults – but most people are either unaware of this or leave it untreated.
- The risk of heart disease for women increases at menopause when oestrogen levels fall and they are more prone to weight gain.
- While men tend to experience chest pain before a heart attack, women may suffer pain in the jaw or back, or feel breathless while exercising, not realising these are warning signs of a potential heart attack. Because they don’t recognise the symptoms, they are less likely to seek help.
- Acute vigorous physical exertion may trigger sudden death or myocardial infarction in the presence of underlying heart disease, particularly in individuals not accustomed to such activity or to regular exercise.
To help your patients prepare for a return to exercise, Sydney Cardiology’s Sports Cardiology Clinic team screens and assesses adult and older adolescent athletes, and provides cardiac health advice.
The Sports Cardiology Clinic
While sports cardiology is a relatively new subspecialty of cardiology and sports medicine, cardiac screening of recreational and professional athletes is steadily becoming more common.
To help you evaluate and manage your patients, Sydney Cardiology’s Sports Cardiology team conducts a comprehensive sports cardiology screening including history and physical evaluation, ECG, echocardiography, stress echo and electrophysiological studies.
The team also manages athletes with cardiovascular conditions, prescribes exercise for adults and does pre-participation evaluations for middle-aged people who are returning to exercise.
People attending a Sports Cardiology Clinic include adult athletes who are involved in sport at any level from recreational to high-level competition. Adolescent athletes, ages 15 or older, may also be evaluated.
The Sydney Cardiology rooms have comprehensive cardiac assessment facilities including electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography, exercise stress testing and ambulatory ECG monitoring.