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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Oct;32(10):1674-8.

Cardiovascular load of competitive golf in cardiac patients and healthy controls.

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Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Rotenburg, Germany.



Sports in cardiovascular patients (CVP) should serve for risk factor management, increase of exercise capacity, and reintegration into daily life. Competition of cardiac patients with healthy sportsmen is often discouraged and thus reintegration hampered. Golf, with its endurance component and exceptional rules (e.g., the handicap) should be an alternative.


In 20 male golfers (65.2 +/- 6.1 yr, 1.4 +/- 0.3 W x kg(-1) body weight (approximately 4.8 METs)) with cardiovascular diseases and eight controls (C) (62 +/- 5 yr, 2 +/- 0.4 W x kg(-1) body weight (approximately 6.9 METs)), the performance assessed in the laboratory (ergospirometry, serum lactate) allowed for comparison of the cardiovascular load on the golf course (lactate, Holter monitoring, blood pressure, urine catecholamines).


In comparison with in the hospital, resting heart rates were significantly (P < 0.001) elevated in both groups immediately before the tournament (CVP: 76.1 +/- 10.8 vs 90.1 +/- 8.6 bpm; C: 74.8 +/- 6.3 vs 92.3 +/- 9.7 bpm). On the course, the mean heart rates of the patients were closer (P < 0.01) to the anaerobic threshold (105.4 +/- 11.0 vs 115.3 +/- 10.8 bpm) in comparison with controls (100.5 +/- 7.3 vs 125.6 +/- 16.6 bpm) corresponding to 0.9 +/- 0.3 W x kg(-1) (approximately 3.1 METs) or 76.0 +/- 13.1%VO2max (CVP) and to 0.9 +/- 0.2 W x kg(-1) (approximately 3.1 METs) or 55.3 +/- 9.1%VO2max (C). Serum lactate levels were 1.36 +/- 0.7 mmol x L(-1) (approximately 12.4 +/- 6.4 mg x dL(-1)) (CVP) and 1.1 +/- 0.4 mmol x L(-1) (approximately 9.1 +/- 3.6 mg x dL(-1)) (C). In patients, arrhythmias were lower in quantity and quality (LOWN) in comparison with other activities as registered by means of the 24-Holter-ECG.


In cardiovascular patients, competitive golf reaches an intensity that may positively influence cardiovascular risk factors, depending on the type of the course and may provide patients the desired integration with healthy sportsmen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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