Study design

Who can participate (only in Belgium)?

Endurance-sport competitors:

  • Men
  • Training in triathlon (>10h/week), cycling (>10h/week), rowing (>6h/week), canoeing (>6h/week), distance running (1500 meters or longer; >6h/week), swimming (>6h/week).
  • Aged 45-70y.
  • Who have been training since the age of 30 as well as who started endurance training after the age of 30 and at least 6 months ago.

Non athlete's or athlete's in technical/tactical sports:

  • Men
  • Competing in skill based activities with no required aerobic training (e.g. chess, riflery, archery, billiards, bowling).
  • Aged 45-70y.
  • Performing less than 3 hours of endurance sport per week.

You can not participate if:

  • You take medication which is related to the heart or blood vessels function. 
  • You are known with a heart condition which makes sport participation impossible.
  • You can not take a CMR (if you have a pacemaker).
  • You are not able to get to one of our testing centers in Belgium.

What is involved?

You can participate by filling in the questionnaire. If you want to, you can get a message to participate for the tests.

If you are selected you will receive an invitation to undergo comprehensive evaluation of the heart and blood vessels (see below). Selection of the individuals that undergo these examinations is entirely random. During the follow 2 years you will receive a 6 monthly phone call and your regimen will be followed.

The tests we will be conducting are (After selection):

  • Heart ultrasound
  • VO2max test
  • DEXA scan
  • 24hour Holter monitor
  • Blood samples
  • Coronary CT
  • Some people will receive a Cardiac Magnetic Resonance imaging (CMR)

If you are in doubt, you can always fill out the questionnaire. If you are eligible you can be contacted. 


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