You love the outdoors – but your heart might not. If you enjoy skiing, hiking and other sports experienced at high altitudes, you might be well advised to spend your first day at altitude taking it easy. In older men, especially those unaccustomed to intense physical exertion and with coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors, there is a higher risk of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) on the first day of exercise at altitude.
This startling statistic encouraged a mountaineering team, comprised of military members, veterans and a physician, from non-profit organization U.S. Expeditions and Explorations (USX) and Cardiac Insight, Inc. to gather more data and help the millions who recreate at high altitudes.
The two companies announced today that the climbing team successfully scaled North America’s highest peak, Denali, in May and gathered high-altitude cardiac data using Cardiac Insight, Inc.’s Cardea SOLO™, a wearable, wire-free electrocardiogram (ECG) Sensor and Analysis Software System for the detection of adult arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation (AFib).
SCD is the most common cause of non-traumatic death in men over 34 while skiing or hiking at high altitude. Researchers believe high altitude increases the likelihood of cardiac arrhythmias. Most of these are benign, however in those with CAD risk factors, arrhythmia could be related to the increased risk of SCD. However, limited data on this subject exists, especially with participants ranging above 5,000 meters (16,404 feet). Cardiac Insight, Inc.’s Cardea SOLO wearable Sensor, which records every heartbeat for up to seven days, provides the capability to capture high-fidelity data in this challenging environment in an unobtrusive, comfortable form factor.
“We are pleased to report that because of the durability and ease-of-use of the Cardea SOLO Sensor and its associated software capabilities, we were able to easily secure a large amount of data,” said David R. Ohlson, D.O., Director of Research Initiatives for USX, Co-Chief Resident of Internal Medicine at Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot, Idaho, and an accomplished climber and filmmaker. “The continuous nature of the 28 days of data we captured will help provide new insights into how frequently abnormal heart rhythms occur in healthy individuals at high altitude and give us a model for larger studies in the future.”
“Cardea SOLO’s participation in USX’s Denali expedition is helping to provide valuable insight into a significant health risk and the heart’s performance related to the impact of sports and activities at high altitudes. This could never be accomplished — until now. The research data retrieved by USX using Cardea SOLO on Denali will contribute to the current body of knowledge and future study design,” said Brad Harlow, Chief Executive Officer of Cardiac Insight, Inc.
The Cardea SOLO ECG System is receiving strong interest from cardiac researchers, as it records, stores and analyzes every heartbeat. The latest version of Cardea SOLO Software also features batch file analysis capabilities. Researchers own and control all their data, and study participant compliance with Cardea SOLO wear time of up to seven days has been reported as excellent.