Regular physical exercise is recommended for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Although the high prevalence of physical inactivity remains a formidable public health issue, participation in exercise programs and recreational sporting events, such as marathons and triathlons, is on the rise. Although regular exercise training reduces cardiovascular disease risk, recent studies have documented elevations in cardiac troponin (cTn) consistent with cardiac damage after bouts of exercise in apparently healthy individuals. At present, the prevalence, mechanism(s), and clinical significance of exercise-induced cTn release remains incompletely understood. This paper will review the biochemistry, prevalence, potential mechanisms, and management of patients with exercise-induced cTn elevations.
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