IMR Press / RCM / Volume 24 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.31083/j.rcm2403094
Open Access Review
Exercise and the Heart: Benefits, Risks and Adverse Effects of Exercise Training
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1 Cardiothoracic Centre, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital, SE1 7EH London, UK
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences, King's College London, SE1 7EH London, UK
3 Cardiovascular Sciences Research Centre, St George's University of London, SW17 0RE London, UK
4 Cardiovascular Research Centre, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, SW3 6NP London, UK
*Correspondence: (Gherardo Finocchiaro)
Rev. Cardiovasc. Med. 2023, 24(3), 94;
Submitted: 20 December 2022 | Revised: 31 January 2023 | Accepted: 16 February 2023 | Published: 23 March 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise-Induced Cardiac Injury: Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention)
Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Exercise has multiple health benefits and reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Regular exercise decreases the burden of cardiovascular risk factors and improves prognosis in several cardiac conditions. Despite these premises, sudden cardiac death (SCD) during sports may occur in apparently healthy athletes who perform at the highest levels. Accurate identification and prompt treatment of individuals at risk may reduce the burden of SCD. A possible cardiotoxic effect of intense exercise has been recently postulated, however this is still matter of controversy as causal relationships are often difficult to establish taking into account multiple confounders. Exercise is safe for the majority, even with cardiovascular disease. In this review, we focus on exercise and sports, discussing their benefits and risks and exercise recommendations for healthy individuals and those with cardiovascular disease.

sudden cardiac death
RG2701/Heart Research UK
Fig. 1.
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