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Cardiovascular Care in Athletics Treatment Information
The IU Health Center for Cardiovascular Care in Athletics specializes in individualized care. Your customized treatment plan will be based on the activity or sport in which you participate and your heart health. We evaluate your heart health by looking at your medical history and performing tests.
We care for athletic individuals of all ages who have experienced a cardiac event, who have been identified as high-risk for a cardiovascular condition or who are interested in learning more about the relationship between athletic activity and their unique cardiovascular risks.
We also see athletes who have suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and want to know how they can get back to being active while managing their risks for another cardiovascular incident.
Services provided by our doctors include:
- Comprehensive cardiovascular screening
- Evaluation of potential cardiovascular symptoms
- Assessment of any unexplained deterioration in performance
- Evaluation of cardiovascular risk factors, along with advice for risk-factor mitigation
- Clearance to return to sports participation after a cardiovascular event or surgery
- Comprehensive cardiovascular and physiological testing, including history physical exam, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and cardiopulmonary exercise testing
The main groups of patients we treat are:
- Athletes wanting a more robust pre-participation screening. A pre-participation history and physical is almost always required for individuals participating in high school or college organized sports. We designed a pre-participation screening for the athlete who wants a more robust, higher-end cardiovascular screening before participating in sports.
- Athletes who may be at risk for an adverse cardiovascular event. These individuals have undergone a pre-participation screening by a primary care doctor, pediatrician or other healthcare professional, and some concern has raised a “red flag.” Perhaps there was something in the family history, a concerning symptom or a result from an electrocardiogram that caused concern for the other healthcare provider. Our goal is to determine if there is anything of real concern based on the history, physical and test results that would put the individual at risk for an adverse cardiovascular event when active or playing sports.
- Athletes experiencing concerning symptoms during athletic activities. These individuals have passed a previous pre-participation screening, have been participating in the sport and are now experiencing concerning symptoms. These symptoms may include chest discomfort, excessive shortness of breath, fainting or heart palpitations. Our goal is to determine if their symptoms are cardiovascular-related and, if so, how they can safely return to their activity.
- Middle-aged athletic individuals concerned about exercise and their heart health. This is the largest group of patients we see. These individuals are middle-aged to older athletes who exercise a lot but are still concerned about their risk for cardiac disease. They want a comprehensive assessment of their risks that pertains more to them as a middle-aged athlete than a standard cardiology assessment of the average 50-year-old person. Many cardiologists do not fully understand the physiology of exercise, so we serve as a resource for discussions on safety and risk for these individuals. Our goal is to provide them with a complete cardiac assessment that is appropriate for their health status as a highly fit person.
- Athletes with known disease or prior cardiac event. These individuals have been diagnosed with cardiac disease or have experienced a prior cardiac event, such as a heart attack, and want to understand how they can continue to safely participate in their sport. Our goal is to provide them with a complete assessment based on their cardiac health so they can continue being an athletic, active individual.
While we always strive to help athletes quickly return to participating in the activities they love, the key tenet of our center is cardiovascular safety. As part of your comprehensive safety evaluation, we also gather performance data that you can use to better understand and improve your athletic performance when it is safe for you to return to your previous level of activity.
Sports Cardiology Performance Lab
The IU Health Center for Cardiovascular Care in Athletics provides stress testing for athletes through its Sports Cardiology Performance Lab. This unique lab—designed for athletes—is one of only a few such labs in the U.S.
The majority of athletes we see will come through this lab at some point. In the lab, we offer cardiopulmonary exercise testing as part of the safety evaluation and clinical evaluation of athletes. Athletes who come to the lab will be closely monitored while they undergo activities that mimic athletic competition or training, such as running, biking and sprinting.
Cardiovascular Care in Athletics Locations & Physicians
We are located at:
1801 N. Senate Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202