• Cardiovascular

    Guidelines For Athletes With Long QT Syndrome May Be Too Strict

Current guidelines disqualify most people with long QT syndrome (LQTS) — a genetic abnormality in the heart’s electrical system — from every sport and continues to be a matter of debate among physicians. So, in a first-of-its-kind study, Mayo Clinic’s LQTS clinic recently examined its own experience, determining the outcome of LQTS patients who chose to remain athletes against guideline recommendations.

Pediatric cardiologist and director of Mayo’s LQTS Clinic. Michael Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., says, “About eight years ago after I started to see some of these lives ruined by the recommendation to discontinue sports, we decided to challenge the status quo. We adopted a philosophy that empowered patients and their families with the right to make an informed and difficult decision about continuing in competitive sports, a known LQTS-established risk-taking behavior.”

Dr. Ackerman presented these findings in Glasgow, Scotland, at a pre-2012 Summer Olympics medical conference on sports, athletes and health. LQTS patients can become successful athletes; swimmer Dana Vollmer, who has LQTS and is not a Mayo patient, will compete in London.

Read entire news release: Long QT Paper

Soundbites with senior author, Dr. Ackerman, are available in the downloads above.

Expert title for broadcast cg: Dr. Michael Ackerman, Mayo Clinic Cardiologist