Demographic characteristics of patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices have significantly changed during the last few years, according to the ageing of the population and the consequent increase in the number of elderly individuals with indication for pacemaker implant and, on the other hand, to the increased number of young individuals implanted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator for the primary prevention of sudden death. More and more often, both elderly and young patients ask the physician to deal with the device in their daily activities, which often include sport practice. This latter is advisable because of its recognized benefits on cardiovascular prevention, although there are many limitations for patients with a cardiac implantable electronic device. Hence, the need to balance the patient's request with the appropriate precautions emerging from existing evidence.
The current article aims to provide an overview of the most recent data on this topic, derived from registries and observational studies.
Over the years an attempt to standardize recommendations has been made, but robust evidence is still lacking. Substantial differences exist between countries based on their sports regulations. Official recommendations of European and American Scientific Societies are resumed.
The future perspective is to obtain data to allow these patients a safer practice of sport activity also through technological advances in terms of device materials and programming improvement and the possibility of remote monitoring.