Physical activity and the heart during ageing

The association between physical activity and atrial fibrillation remains uncertain, due to a relatively small number of studies and other methodological challenges such as self-reported physical activity and atrial fibrillation, and lack of cardiac data to elucidate underlying mechanisms.

The main objective of this project is to provide new knowledge on the role of physical activity in age-related adverse cardiac changes, with focus on atrial fibrillation and mechanisms underlying cardiac effects of physical activity. We aim to elucidate the association between objectively measured physical activity and arrhythmias, heart structure and function, and to examine possible mechanisms of high incidence of atrial fibrillation in highly active individuals.

The project is a cohort study based on the Tromsø Study, particularly the 7Th survey in 2015-16. Physical activity is measured with an accelerometer, and ECG and echocardiography data are available together with atrial fibrillation diagnoses from medical journals. The project will be carried out at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, starting in 2018, and a 3 years PhD grant is funded by Helse Nord (Northern Norway Regional Health Authority).

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