Table 1

Studies demonstrating an increased risk for atrial fibrillation (AF) in individuals practising endurance sports

StudiesType of study% MenAgeType of sportsCases/controlsOR (95% CI) for AF in sport practitioners
Kaarjalainen et alLongitudinal case/control100%47±5 runners
49±5 controls
Orienteering262/3735.5 (1.3 to 24.4)
Mont et alRetrospective/compared to general population100%44±13 sports
49±11 non-sports
Endurance sports >3 h/week70 lone AF61% of subjects with lone AF
Elosua et alRetrospective case/control100%41±13 AF patients
44±11 controls
Endurance sports
Current practice and >1500 cumulated hours of practice
51/1092.87 (1.39 to 7.05) adjusted for age and hypertension
Heidbuchel et alCase/control in patients undergoing flutter ablation83%53±9 sports
60±10 controls
Cycling, running or swimming >3 hours/week31/1061.81 (1.10 to 2.98)
Molina et alLongitudinal case/control100%39±9 runners
50±13 sedentary
Marathon running252/3058.80 (1.26 to 61.29) adjusted for age and blood pressure
Baldesberger et alLongitudinal case/control100%67±7 cyclists
66±6 golfers
Cycling134/6210% AF in cyclists
0% AF in controls
Mont et al GIRAFA studyProspective case/control69%48±11Endurance sports107/1077.31 (2.33 to 22.9)
>550 h of cumulated heavy physical activity
  • Reproduced with permission from Mont et al.14