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January 19, 1970

Arrhythmia Problems and Athletic Participation

Author Affiliations

Lakeville, Conn

JAMA. 1970;211(3):502. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170030094022

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To the Editor:—  Dr. Rose's conclusions about cardiac conduction in "Relationship of Cardiac Problems to Athletic Participation" (208: 2319, 1969) are not in agreement with information that we have reported (Arch Intern Med122:340, 1968).There is convincing evidence that right bundle-branch block (RBBB) may actually be a rather common finding in normal athletes. It may be present in 20% to 25% of trained sportsmen. When intensive training is discontinued, RBBB may disappear. Dr. Rose's opinion that "subjects with [right] bundle-branch block should be withheld from strenuous sports until freedom from cardiovascular disease... can be demonstrated" seems over-conservative in face of current data. In addition, there is always the problem of how extensive an investigation should be carried out in a subject who is well-trained and shows good athletic performance and endurance.Second, arrhythmias are frequently seen in sportsmen and probably do not predispose athletes to serious conduction disturbances.