Hypertension, Athletes and the Sports Physician: Implications of JNC VII, The Fourth Report, and the 36th Bethesda Conference Guidelines Francis G. O’Connor, MD, MPH Medical Director, USUHS Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Discuss clinical implications for the sports clinician.
The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute National High Blood Pressure Education Program Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR et al: The seventh report of the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of High blood pressure: the JNC 7 report. JAMA 2003;289:2560-72. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
HTN prevalence ~ 50 million people in the United States.
The BP relationship to risk of CVD is continuous, consistent, and independent of other risk factors.
Each increment of 20/10 mmHg doubles the risk of CVD across the entire BP range starting from 115/75 mmHg.
Prehypertension signals the need for increased education to reduce BP in order to prevent hypertension.
Hypertension is the most common cardiovascular disease encountered in the athletic population.
Background Benefits of Lowering BP Average % Reduction Stroke incidence 35–40% Myocardial infarction 20–25% Heart failure 50%
Trends in awareness, treatment, and control of high blood pressure in adults ages 18–74, Adapted from JNC VII. 34 27 29 10 Control 59 54 55 31 Treatment 70 68 73 51 Awareness 1999–2000 II (Phase 2) 1991–94 II (Phase 1) 1988–91 II 1976–80 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Percent
JNC VII Blood Pressure Classification High Normal of JNC VI replaced by Prehypertension. Four Stages of Hypertension in JNC VI consolidated to Two Stages. <80 and <120 Normal 80–89 or 120–139 Prehypertension 90–99 or 140–159 Stage 1 Hypertension > 100 or > 160 Stage 2 Hypertension DBP mmHg SBP mmHg BP Classification
Evaluation of the hypertensive recommends the following: 12 lead electrocardiography; urinalysis; blood glucose and hematocrit; serum potassium, creatinine and calcium; and a lipoprotein profile.
While echocardiography is recognized in JNC VII as more sensitive than electrocardiography for detecting left ventricular hypertrophy, there is no specific recommendation mandating screening echocardiography.
JNC VII specifically addresses compelling indications for pharmacologic intervention: heart failure; post myocardial infarction; high coronary disease risk; diabetes; chronic kidney disease; and recurrent stroke prevention.
In addition, other special situations e.g. minorities, are identified with suggested treatment strategies.
Specific comments into recommendations for athletes, however, do not appear in JNC VII.
AMSSM should be a member of the writing group for JNC VIII.
The Fourth Report on the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics 2004; 114 Suppl: 555-76.
Updates 1996 standard; reflects literature from 1997 to 2004.
The Fourth Report BP standards based on sex, age and height are more accurate and utilize data from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and new height percentile data from the CDC growth charts.
Hypertension for athletes under 18 years old is also classified as prehypertension, Stage 1, and Stage 2 hypertension to mirror the current recommendations for adults.
Enhanced focus on detection of early target organ damage.
Similar to adults, any child athlete with Stage 2 hypertension should be restricted from participation until adequate control is obtained.
Children with identified target organ disease should have participation recommendations based upon the nature of their target organ disease.
Note that the Current PPE monograph is based upon the 1996 Report:
Athletes pick up an extra 5mmHg for clearance for sport.
36th Bethesda Conference: Recommendations for Determining Eligibility for Competition in Athletes with Cardiovascular Abnormalities: Task Force 5: Systemic Hypertension. Kaplan NM, Gidding SS, Pickering TG, et al: Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2005, 45 (8):1346-8.
Little variation is noted between the classification tables from the two conferences except for the addition of triathlon (IIIC), snowboarding (IIIB), and skateboarding (IIIB); the combination of single and doubles tennis into tennis (IC); the change of fencing from IIB to IB; and the absence of Australian rules football (IIC).
Table 1: 36 th Bethesda Conference Recommendations When hypertension coexists with another cardiovascular disease, eligibility for participation in competitive athletics is usually based on the type and severity of the associated condition. 5 All drugs being taken must be registered with appropriate governing bodies to obtain therapeutic exemption. 4 Athletes with more severe hypertension (stage 2), even without evidence of target organ damage such as LVH, should be restricted, particularly from high static sports (classes IIIA to IIIC), until their hypertension is controlled by either lifestyle modification or drug therapy. 3 The presence of Stage 1 hypertension in the absence of target organ damage including LVH or concomitant heart disease should not limit the eligibility of any competitive sport. Once having begun a training program, the hypertensive athlete should have BP remeasured every two to four months (or more frequently, if indicated) to monitor the impact of exercise. 2 Before individuals commence training for competitive athletics, they should undergo careful assessment of BP and those with initially high levels (above 140/90 mm Hg) should have out-of-office measurements to exclude isolated office “white-coat” hypertension. Those with pre-hypertension (120/80 mm Hg up to 139/89 mm Hg) should be encouraged to modify lifestyle but should not be restricted from physical activity. Those with sustained hypertension should have echocardiography. Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) beyond that seen with “athlete’s heart” should limit participation until BP is normalized by appropriate drug therapy. 1 Task Force 5 : Systemic Hypertension 36 th Bethesda Conference Recommendations
"After teaching over 500 residents and medical students the principles of sports medicine, and having the honor of training 14 incredibly competent primary care sports medicine fellows, I have begun to realize just how important this area truly is. I have always felt that you really did not have to know the difference between a basketball and a baseball; your patients surely will. More and more of our general population continue interests in sports beyond youth in many forms of recreational activity. We must all become 'team physicians' of sort to those recreational exercises we call our patients."