Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

Clinical & Experimental Cardiology
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9880


Swimming - Trigerred Acute Cardiovascular Complications in Elders

Zijad Durakovic, Marjeta Misigoj Durakovic and Josip Skavic

Background: Our aim was to analyze the prevalence and causes of sudden death due to recreational swimming in the elderly in Croatia in a 15-year period and to analyze what complications could we determine due to recreational swimming in elders, compared to other age groups.

Methods: In this period 22 persons from Croatia died suddenly due to recreational swimming in a summer time. In all of them forensic medicine autopsy was done. The data are a part of a retrospective study, collected from the whole population consisting of 4,500.000 persons from the registry of the Forensic Medicine Services, the Public Health Registry and from sport’s clubs in Croatia.

Results: Nine of those suddenly deceased persons were aged 65-84: eight men and one woman. All have suffered from coronary atherosclerosis, myocardial fibrosis or myocardial scars, one of them had rupture of the thoracic aorta, and six of them had left ventricular hypertrophy. Ten were aged 30-64: seven of them have suffered from coronary atherosclerosis and seven had left ventricular hypertrophy. Three were aged 18-29: one had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the other had chronic myopericarditis, and the third had cardiomegaly and blood alcohol level of 1.7%. In Croatia, the death rate during swimming in men aged 65-82 is significantly higher than in other age groups: in men aged 30-64 and 18-29.

Conclusion: In Croatia in all eight elderly persons died suddenly, and in 7/10 middle aged, coronary heart disease was a leading cause of sudden death due to swimming. Left ventricular hypertrophy was found in 6/9 elders and in 7/10 middle aged persons. The death rate due to swimming in men aged 65-84: 2.10/1,000.000, is significantly higher than in those aged 30-64: 0.65/1,000.000 (p=0.0209), and in men aged 18-29: 0.44/1,000.000 (p=0.0244), and in two groups aged 18-64 put together: 0.59/1,000.000 (p=0.0064).