Sports Cardiology

ECCRI is at the forefront in the emerging sub-specialty of Sports Cardiology. Researchers are studying the cardiovascular adaptations that are unique to different athletes of all levels and working to translate those findings into better clinical care. With increased understanding of the biophysical changes that take place due to intense athletic training, investigators are hopeful to provide insight into the impact of exercise on cardiovascular disease which could lead to future application in the general population.

Investigator Jonathan Kim, MD is leading a multi-year longitudinal study evaluating collegiate and high school American-style Football Players to determine the sport's effect on cardiac and vascular function. Kim and his team found that collegiate US football athletes who gain weight and develop increased systolic blood pressure levels are at risk for the development of a pathologic cardiovascular phenotype. 

Also, Kim and his team are exploring the impact of age, gender and fitness level on cardiac function after completing a moderate, but exhaustive, endurance-exercise event. In cooperation with the Atlanta Track Club, Peachtree Road Race participants of all ages and fitness levels were studied to investigate whether or not lifelong regular exercise provides increased protective benefits for the heart.