Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Atrial Fibrillation in Endurance Trained Athletes
  1. Alexey V Sorokin (swordsman92000{at}
  1. Hartford Hospital, United States
    1. Claudio G S Araujo (cgaraujo{at}
    1. Clinica de Medicina do Exercico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
      1. Steven Zweibel (szweibel{at}
      1. Hartford Hospital, United States
        1. Paul D Thompson (pthomps{at}
        1. Hartford Hospital, United States


          Endurance exercise training produces multiple cardiac adaptations including changes in electrophysiological function that may make endurance trained athletes more vulnerable to atrial fibrillation (AF). This possible association is not recognized by many practicing cardiologists and sports physicians. Consequently, we performed a literature review to examine the relationship between atrial fibrillation and endurance exercise training among athletes. PubMed was searched from January 1960 through December 2008 to identify articles examining the relationship between endurance exercise training and AF.

          Evidence suggests that athletes are at increased risk for development of AF. Possible factors increasing AF in this population include increased parasympathetic tone, reduced sympathetic tone, increased atrial size, and increased inflammation.

          Suggested management of AF in athletes should follow similar principles to those used to manage AF in the general population.

          Statistics from

          Request Permissions

          If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.