Ep.27 Barbara Morrison: Exercise and cardiovascular disease in older athletes
Barbara is completing her Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where she also received her Masters of Science as well as her Bachelor of Kinesiology in Exercise Science. Her thesis focuses on Cardiovascular Risk Management and Screening in Masters Athletes to prevent adverse cardiac events during sport. She has worked in cardiac rehab at Vancouver General and St. Paul’s hospitals and is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. Her research is conducted through a MITACs industry partner, SportsCardiologyBC, where she is also the senior research and project coordinator.
*NOTE: I had some issues with sound during the podcast which I'm afraid I couldn't edit out. Please forgive the lower quality and hopefully it shouldn't take away from the great information that Barbara provides.
In this episode we cover:
- Barbara's background in cardiac rehabilitation and what it means for cardiac care
- The benefits of exercise for reducing the risk of cardiac events in people who have already had one
- Barbara's observations in cardiac rehab that lead her to pursue here research in masters athletes who were highly active but still suffering from heart attacks
- What is sudden cardiac death in relation to exercise?
- Why does there seem to be higher rates of SCD in sports like cycling and running.
- The upsetting truth of what defines a masters athlete
- What is atherosclerosis and coronary artery calcification (CAC) and what does a CAC score mean for cardiac risk
- Why does calcium build up in arteries and how does exercise effect it?
- The importance of exercise for maintaining lifelong heart health
- The difference between calcified, non-calcified and mixed plaques and how that relates to exercise level
- The importance of proper recovery with endurance training for maintaining arterial health
- The difficulty in quantifying how much exercise is the "sweet spot" for heart health and how it varies according to fitness level
- Does strength/resistance training have similar effects on heart health?
- Barbara's research investigating the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in older athletes.
- What are some of the health markers that older athletes should keep an eye on and what other useful tests are available?
- Barbara's research into the heart health of bodybuilders (including steroid users)