Physical activity, symptoms, medication and subjective health among veteran endurance athletes with atrial fibrillation



Atrial fibrillation (AF) is highly prevalent, but has not previously been characterized in detail in veteran athletes. We aimed to describe physical activity (PA), symptoms, medication and subjective health in relation to AF subtype and co-morbidity among veteran cross-country skiers with AF.


In total, 4952 Norwegian men and women aged 53–85 years took part in this cohort study, 2626 veteran cross-country skiers and 2326 from the general population. PA, endurance exercise, functional capacity, co-morbidity, drug use and subjective health were self-reported by questionnaires. AF was self-reported and confirmed by electrocardiograms in a medical record review.


The prevalence of self-reported AF among veteran skiers was 12.3 %. AF was confirmed in 140 skiers and 118 individuals from the general population. Among skiers with AF (mean age 69 years), 52 % had paroxysmal, 23 % persistent and 24 % permanent AF. AF was associated with poor subjective health, but 89 % of the veteran skiers were physically active and 64 % engaged in regular endurance exercise after the onset of AF. While 59 % had experienced palpitations during the past year, 32 % reported reduced functional capacity. Two out of three with AF and a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥2 used oral anticoagulants (OACs).


AF was associated with poor subjective health, but the vast majority of veteran athletes engaged in regular PA and endurance exercise also after the onset of AF. This is important, as PA and exercise might reduce AF symptoms, mortality and morbidity. Many veteran skiers with AF were not optimally treated with OACs.


Autor / Fonte:Marius Myrstad, Marit Aarønæs, Sidsel Graff-Iversen, Inger Ariansen, Wenche Nystad, Anette Hylen Ranhoff Clinical Research in Cardiology: Official Journal of the German Cardiac Society 2015 July 26