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REVIEW  SPORTS CARDIOLOGY AND EXERCISE 

Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 April;68(2):98-109

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05177-4

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants and sport

Silvio ROMANO 1, Elisa SALUSTRI 1 , Antonio G. ROBLES 2, Leonardo CALÒ 2, Maria PENCO 1, Luigi SCIARRA 2

1 Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy; 2 Department of Cardiology, Casilino Polyclinic Hospital, Rome, Italy



Physical activity is worldwide recommended for its benefits on cardiovascular system. There is an increasing number of people of all ages that approach sport activity both as leisure time physical activity and as competitive sport. It is always more frequent the request even from older subjects and cardiac patients to be allowed to practice physical activity. Some problems could arise when these subjects present or develop pathologic conditions that require specific pharmacological treatment, in particular an anticoagulation therapy. This review focalizes on the management of oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) in patients practicing sport activity, especially due to atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis, which represent two highly prevalent conditions, particularly with increasing age. Official recommendations in this field may appear limiting for patients, forbidding in the majority of cases sports at risk of trauma and consequent bleeding. These recommendations still resent the heritage of the “traditional” management of OAT, mainly represented by vitamin-K antagonists (VKAs). The non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants, with their more favorable pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic profile compare to VKAs, may now represent an opportunity to modify the approach to sport activity in patients with an indication to OAT. This review of the literature deals with possible strategies to overcome the present limitations for OAT subjects willing to pursue a healthy lifestyle, that include sport activity, minimizing at the same time their risk of bleeding.


KEY WORDS: Pharmacologic actions; Athletes; Anticoagulants; Atrial fibrillation

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