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Annu Rev Med. 1999;50:441-52.

Arrhythmias in the athlete with congenital heart disease: guidelines for participation.

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  • 1Cardiac Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA.


Advances in the diagnosis and early management of congenital heart disease in recent decades have led to increasing numbers of individuals being sufficiently well to participate in social as well as truly competitive sports. Physicians are increasingly asked whether such participation is safe, advisable, and efficacious, yet few guidelines exist to help them make these decisions. There are three apparent subgroups of patients: (a) those with mild or repaired problems, who function normally or nearly so and may fully participate; (b) those with severe functional deficit or known high risk, for whom strenuous exertion must be strictly proscribed; and (c) those who fall in between, with some limitations and some risk--these patients present a great challenge to the wisdom and clinical skill of the physician.

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