Work by two members of the NIHR Bristol BRC’s Cardiovascular Disease theme has been recognised in new international guidelines and recommendations on exercise and sports, published by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Dr Guido Pieles and Dr Graham Stuart contributed to two impactful new ESC publications released this year:

2020 ESC Guidelines on sports cardiology and exercise in patients with cardiovascular disease

Sports cardiology is still an emerging branch of cardiovascular disease research, so the evidence base for disease progression or risk of death during intensive exercise and competitive sport among people with cardiovascular diseases is relatively sparse.

These guidelines draw upon existing ESC guidelines for the investigation, risk assessment, and management of individuals with cardiovascular diseases, to help doctors when prescribing exercise programmes or providing advice for taking part in sport.

Recommendations for participation in competitive sport in adolescent and adult athletes with congenital heart disease

Improved clinical care has led to more adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) exercising for leisure and taking part in competitive sport. While exercise has known benefits for people with CHD, there are also some risks of exercise-related complications.

This document updates the recommendations for competitive sports participation in athletes with cardiovascular disease published by the Sports Cardiology & Exercise section of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology in 2005. It moves away from specific anatomical defects and introduces an individualised assessment approach based on the principles of the 2013 recommendations for physical activity in CHD.