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Medicina dello Sport 2018 December;71(4):540-51

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.18.03375-6


language: English, Italian

Analysis of heart rate values detected during preparticipation screening for non-agonistic sport eligibility in a sample between 4 and 12 years old

Matteo D'ELIA 1, 2 , Stefano CAMELIO 1, 2, Michele ANDREIS 1, 3, Maurizio CASASCO 1, 3, Gaetano BIANCHI 1, 3

1 Federazione Medico Sportiva Italiana (FMSI), Rome, Italy; 2 School of Sports Medicine, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; 3 Panathleticon, Brescia, Italy


BACKGROUND: Heart rate (HR) reduces from birth to adulthood. The main aim of this observational study is to identify the normal distribution and the reference values of HR, for each age, in a population of pediatric subjects.
METHODS: The study retrospectively identified 2531 subjects (62.2% males and 37.8% females) between 4 and 12 years old, who, over 12 months, sequentially underwent a preparticipation screening for non-competitive sport eligibility. HR was obtained from basal ECG and, for each age, the 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th and 95th percentile values were derived. Total and percentile values of HR were compared between males and females. A linear regression analysis was performed to verify a correlation between mean HR (HRm) and age.
RESULTS: For each age, HR was higher in females with respect to males. In our sample, predictive equations for HRm, as a function of age, were identified in males (HRm =-2.45 [age] + 103.7; [SEE: ±1.9; R2: 0.945; P<0.01]) and females (HRm =-2.107 [age] + 105.9; [SEE: ±1.7; R2: 0.941; P<0.01]). The decrease of HRm with age followed a similar trend (P=0.27) in both genders. Each percentile value, considered in all the ages, were lower in males with respect to females.
CONCLUSIONS: The sample of this study is constituted only by healthy subjects. Overall, the basal HR values relative to the 90th and 99th percentiles, in our sample, appear to be lower than respective values presented in a systematic review of literature, conducted on heterogeneous populations and studies. The regular practice of a sport activity may have influenced the HR values that we identified. With a proper history collection, a correct physical examination and a baseline ECG, the data presented may be useful for a more precise clinical classification of an abnormal HR.

KEY WORDS: Heart rate - Sports Medicine - Athletes

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