Sports cardiology research projects buoyed by increased investment from Canon Medical

UK academics and medical institutions in the Sports Cardiology and Research Partnership are aiming to advance the detection of serious cardiac disease. To further this aim, Canon Medical Systems UK has announced a new round of investment to appoint additional research scholars and expand echocardiography ultrasound and cardiac MRI investigation techniques.

In the last year, the research team from the University of Bristol, Bristol Heart Institute, the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre/University of Exeter and the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health at University College London, has contributed to international discussion on cardiac adaption in paediatric athletes, and exercise recommendations in children and adults with congenital heart disease through the publication of scientific papers, guidelines and at conferences.

Cardiopulmonary exercise test
A cardiopulmonary exercise test in combination with echocardiography.

Senior research associate at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health and Canon Medical UK funded scholar Dr Nathan Riding said: “One hour of exercise a day is the recommended activity time for a child without heart disease, yet just 23 per cent of boys and 20 per cent of girls aged five to 15 meet these targets. Children with congenital heart conditions are also failing to meet these activity guidelines, further impacted by a lack of formal exercise rehabilitation programmes that would be beneficial to them. At the opposite end of the spectrum, child athletes, especially those in sporting academies, may now be undertaking up to 16 hours per week of training, yet with unknown consequences on the heart. Our research is important for so many young people, from so many walks of life.”

To further the early identification of pre-existing cardiac conditions, the partners are continuing the roll out of what is said to be the world’s first mobile cardiac laboratory. This is providing cardiovascular screening for athletes. Canon Medical Systems UK md Mark Hitchman said: “Unlocking knowledge from the body through research is essential to evolve our understanding of how to improve mainstream health and wellbeing. Our increased investment in sports cardiology will not only benefit the sporting community, but also wider healthcare. We will be able to fine tune our diagnostic imaging applications and health IT for cardiology and reshape procedures and protocols that can help improve people’s long-term outcomes.”

Lead picture: Research fellow Dr Lynsey Forsythe, PhD student Nurul Amir, Canon Medical Systems UK regional manager – ultrasound sales Tim Palarm, PhD student Curtis Wadey, PhD student and cardiologist Dr Dan Dorobantu and director of the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre Professor Craig Williams.

Published on page 2 of the July 2022 issue of RAD Magazine.

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