03 June 2019

Kristofer Hedman is currently working as a postdoc at Stanford University in California. He has led a study into high blood pressure in elite athletes, and an article with its results has been accepted for publication in the scientific journal Heart.

Elite athlete swims in a pool. As many as one third of all athletes may need to be rechecked if new blood pressure limit values are introduced. Guduru Ajay Bhargav

The single most important result in the article is that the recently updated values used to classify high blood pressure in young people and adults may lead to as many as a third of all athletes requiring follow up. Kristofer Hedman says that we must be aware of this, before we consider reducing the values used to define high blood pressure in athletes.
“If the limits are to be reduced, we need to reconsider how we measure blood pressure, in order to avoid erroneously high values caused by improper measurement procedures.”

Many athletes have high blood pressure

Another important result is that a considerable fraction of athletes do have relatively high blood pressure, independently of the limit values used.
“Many of these individuals also show signs of a type of adaptation in the heart that previous studies have shown to be associated with impaired heart function in the long run.”
Kristofer Hedman believes that it would be interesting to follow athletes with increased blood pressure and those with blood pressure close to the limit in order to see the eventual outcome.
“Such initiatives are under way at Stanford. Unfortunately, a similar register is not available in Sweden, but it would be interesting to consider whether we could establish one in the future.”

Article in Heart: Blood pressure in athletic preparticipation evaluation and the implication for cardiac remodelling

Translated by George Farrants


Latest news from LiU

Portrait of two persons.

Two new Wallenberg Academy Fellows at LiU

Researchers Olaf Hartig and Alexander Gillett have been appointed Wallenberg Academy Fellows at LiU. The five-year grants are intended to make it possible for young researchers to make important scientific breakthroughs.

Vallastaden in Linkoping

Linköping is Europe's most innovative city – thanks largely to LiU

Linköping is the first Swedish city to win one of the European Commission’s European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital). LiU has played an important part in this success in many ways.

Man on balkony (Simone Fabiano).

Developing soft electronic devices mimicking the brain

Simone Fabiano, senior associate professor at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, has been granted SEK 23 million from the ERC to develop a new type of soft electronic device inspired by the human brain.