Most ICD athletes can play sports without cardiac risks. Yet, current European and North American guidelines recommend against the participation of athletes with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in competitive sport. These so-called Bethesda Conference #36 and the European Society of Cardiology Consensus Recommendations have prevailed since 2006, as a means to guide eligibility/disqualification decisions in competitive athletes with cardiovascular abnormalities.

Recent research disputes the guidelines, pointing out that they are based on clinical experience and expert opinion rather than on the sound evidence of clinical trials. In fact, there is scant data to support the recommendations.

Findings of recent research actually supports the case for allowing ICD athletes to participate in sports. Read more here.

Posted by Kara Gilbert @ KMG Communications.

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