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Advice to prevent sudden cardiac death in athletes to be launched at arrhythmias congress

New advice on screening to prevent sudden cardiac death in athletes, a joint paper from the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation (EACPR), both registered branches of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), is set to be launched at CARDIOSTIM – EHRA EUROPACE 2016 in Nice, France.

The joint meeting of Cardiostim and EHRA is dedicated to arrhythmias, electrophysiology and device therapies. This year it takes place 8 to 11 June at the Nice Acropolis Convention Centre. The scientific program is here.

“The US and Europe have different approaches for screening to prevent sudden death in athletes,” said Professor Michael Glikson, EHRA Chairperson of the Congress Scientific Programme Committee. “The Americans have objected to the use of an electrocardiogram (ECG) while the Europeans have traditionally advocated it. At the congress, journalists will discover the latest recommendations from EHRA.”

During the meeting EHRA will also publish recommendations on how to prevent atrial fibrillation, the management of patients with supraventricular tachycardia, and a joint document with international partners on atrial cardiomyopathies.

Athletes take centre stage in a number of sessions. Topics include the safety of competitive sports in patients with long QT syndrome, using automated external defibrillators to prevent sudden death, and telemonitoring of high level endurance athletes. Experts will address the controversial issue of whether repetitive ultra endurance sports should be avoided in patients with inherited cardiac conditions.

“Until recently we banned any athletic activity in patients with inherited cardiac conditions,” said Professor Glikson. “Guidelines are becoming a bit more liberal and up-to-the-minute advice will be presented.”

An entire session is devoted to the proarrhythmic effects of energy drinks. International leaders will discuss arrhythmia development in young people who use energy drinks to improve sports performance, and European recommendations for the regulation of energy drink use in adolescents and pregnant women.

The results of the second cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) survey conducted by EHRA and the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC will be presented for the first time. It will reveal the real life practice of CRT use in 41 EU countries.

Cutting edge science will be showcased in the late breaking abstract sessions. Highlights include results from PRESSURE, a randomized controlled trial of pulmonary vein reisolation. In devices, members of the press can hear first-hand RESPOND-CRT findings of a hemodynamic sensor to guide resynchronization, mid-term outcomes with a subcutaneous implantable defibrillator in EFFORTLESS, and early results of a novel ventricular assist device that uses a minipropeller in the heart.

Also of interest to the media will be late breaking results from the Man and Machine Trial of manual versus robotic catheter ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. One-year data of patients using a wearable defibrillator in real life will be revealed in the WEARIT-II Registry. And new findings will be presented from the FIRE and ICE Trial comparing radiofrequency and cryoballoon ablation of atrial fibrillation.

World renowned opinion leaders will give both sides of the argument for a leadless pacemaker being the system of choice in particular patients, giving journalists the most up-to-date information in this fast moving area. A session on creating novel pacemakers to drive the heart will explore the potential use of cell therapies, transcription factors, and gene therapies.

Professor Helmut Puererfellner, EHRA Vice Chairperson of the Congress Scientific Programme Committee, said: “Journalists should register now and join around 5,000 delegates at this state-of-the-art event in the field of arrhythmias.”