What Athletes Should Know About their Hearts?
The heart is the engine that keeps blood rich with oxygen supplied to the muscles. With regular, vigorous aerobic activity, the athlete’s heart begins to change over time, growing larger and stronger with increased capacity. In the Middle East region, this area is still in its infancy, and the Cardiovascular Health issues affecting athletes are not well recognized. In addition, our region lacks specific guidelines related to the physical assessment of athletes before participation in sports.

To address this topic more firmly, ICOM Group had the pleasure to organize the “Sports Cardiology Congress – SCC” held from the 2nd till the 4th of December in the Gulf Hotel, Manama Bahrain under the patronage of H.H. Sh. Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa representative of H.M. the King for Humanitarian Works and Youth Affairs.

“I would like to thank everyone who organized this congress. We are gathered today with the top experts in the country to answer a few questions that are colliding in our minds, promote the idea of being healthy and practice sports every single day and how would this do in terms of health and wellbeing”, said H.H. SH. Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The scientific program was composed of a series of 3 days discussions in which the audience got more acquainted with sports cardiology. They were fairly introduced to this unrevealed field that is dedicated to improving the cardiovascular care of athletes.

“We have the utmost pleasure to be hosting this congress for the 1st time in the region. The event worked on developing protocols to reduce deaths, awareness of clinical examination and ECG testing for all athletes”, said H.E. Faeqa Bin Saeed Al Saleh – Minister of Health.

The event attracted 700+ attendees and international speakers joining from England, Italy, Monaco, Spain and Lebanon. The event provided a dynamic multidirectional knowledge exchange, rather than one-way “chalk-and-talk”. Attendees participated in facilitated round-table discussions around the causes of sudden deaths in athletes, possible preventions and early diagnosis.

“The most prominent recommendations of the congress were based on the importance of following the basics and guidelines of health and safety before exercising, and the necessity of conducting periodic medical examinations to identify the health history in advance, as well as identifying the appropriate physical load for each person to prevent and reduce any potential risks”, said Dr. Adel Khalifa – the Congress President & Head of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Department at the Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Specialist Cardiac Centre.

The SCC was managed in collaboration with Bahrain Ministry of Health, Supreme Council for Youth & Sports and Cardiac Center and accredited from the “National Health Regulatory Authority” and the “European Board for Accreditation of Continuing Education for Health Professionals – EBAC”.


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