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Cardiovascular Risks in Long Distance Runners

Witham, Bethany Rolfe; Babbitt, Keven

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000371
Feature: practice

ABSTRACT: Distance running has become increasingly popular since the 1970s. Despite the health benefits, long-distance running has been associated with an increased risk for cardiac events. Healthcare professionals should be familiar with distance running cardiac risk factors and preparticipation screening recommendations from the American Heart Association, and should screen and educate patients during healthcare encounters. Nurses are particularly well suited to educate runners on risks and symptoms of cardiac dysfunction.

Bethany Rolfe Witham, DNP, FNP-BC, is an assistant professor at Seattle Pacific University and a family nurse practitioner at Sea Mar Community Health Center. She runs regularly for exercise and has competed in several races.

Keven Babbitt, MSNc, RN, is an emergency/critical care RN at Evergreen Hospital and a family nurse practitioner student at Seattle Pacific University. He is an avid runner and has competed in several marathons and triathlons.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Accepted by peer-review 1/25/2016.

© 2017 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship