Hypertension in Special Populations: Athletes

Rosa Maria Bruno; Giulia Cartoni; Stefano Taddei


Future Cardiol. 2011;7(4):571-584. 

In This Article


Physically active subjects and especially athletes, are considered a low cardiovascular risk population. Although this assumption is true in general, the physician must be aware that cardiovascular prognosis can be affected in opposite ways by different sports categories and that certain forms of behavior related to competitive sports, such as doping substances, are clearly deleterious for athletes' health. Nevertheless, it also has to be taken into account that a mistaken diagnosis or excessively aggressive treatment can have a dramatic impact on the life, career and performance of athletes. Thus the physician has to balance two opposite aspects: on one hand the tendency to neglect cardiovascular disease prevention in athletes; on the other, that of unduly restraining their activity in order to avoid legal complications. In this complex scenario, comprehensive knowledge on the physiology of exercise and on the state of the art of the clinical approach to hypertension in athletes is warranted.