EP299: CSANZ 23 - Athletes and SCA


Welcome to my podcast. I am Doctor Warrick Bishop, and I want to help you to live as well as possible for as long as possible. I’m a practising cardiologist, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and the creator of The Healthy Heart Network. I have over 20 years as a specialist cardiologist and a private practice of over 10,000 patients.

The episode discusses various topics in sports cardiology and cardiac health. It explores the potential link between endurance exercise and atrial fibrillation in athletes. It also notes that exercise is generally good for heart health but may be associated with increased calcium buildup in arteries for long-distance runners. The episode covers genetic testing for cardiac conditions in athletes and reviews causes of sudden cardiac death in young people, finding that coronary artery disease is a leading cause. It highlights the importance of identifying people with familial hypercholesterolemia to reduce cardiac risks.


  • Heart disease is a major issue in Australia, with someone suffering a heart attack every 20 minutes. Many cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes.
  • Exercise is generally good for heart health but may increase risk of atrial fibrillation in highly trained endurance athletes, especially men.
  • Endurance athletes may experience structural remodeling of the heart muscles that increases risk of arrhythmias.
  • Genetic testing is important for identifying cardiac issues in athletes, but requires pre-test counseling to understand results.
  • Sudden cardiac death in young people under 35 is a complex issue with multiple potential causes like coronary artery disease, drug toxicity, and genetic heart muscle conditions.
  • Coronary artery anomalies are not a major risk factor for sudden cardiac death in young people as previously believed.
  • Identifying and treating familial hypercholesterolemia could significantly reduce sudden cardiac deaths from early coronary artery disease.
  • Increased calcium buildup is seen in heart artery scans of long distance runners but may not necessarily lead to heart attacks.
  • Combining calcium scans and coronary angiograms provides more accurate picture of artery health than calcium scans alone.
  • Drug overdoses are a leading preventable cause of sudden cardiac death behind coronary artery disease in young people.

Australia, like the rest of the western world, has a heart problem.

Over 9 million people around the world die from heart disease every year.

Every 10 minutes, someone in Australia suffers a heart attack. And 21 lives are lost daily because of it.

The devastating fact in all of this is… 

Almost every one of those cases could have been prevented. 

This podcast is for anyone who wants to improve their health literacy and gain information to help them make the best decisions about their risk of heart attack, their cholesterol, blood pressure, risk of diabetes, weight loss and general health. Join me on my personal mission journey to prevent Heart Attack on a global scale. If you like this podcast, I would be honoured by a 5-star review and appreciate if you let your friends and family know about this podcast; you may even save the life of someone you love!

Are You at Risk of a Sudden Heart Attack? How Healthy is Your Heart? Really?

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the Western World. In Australia, someone dies every 28 minutes from heart disease. That’s 51 people a day. In the US, someone has a heart attack every 40 SECONDS! Fortunately, many heart attacks are preventable. However, regular exercise and eating healthy are no guarantee you won’t succumb to this silent killer.

  • 94% of Australians have at least One Risk Factor for heart disease.
  •  59% of Australians have been Touched by heart disease.
  •  Yet only 3% of Australians have had a Full Heart-Health Assessment in the past 12 months.

Do the free heart check today at www.virtualheartcheck.com.au

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  • understand the present state of their heart’s health
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