Sport in ischemic heart disease: Focus on primary and secondary prevention

Clin Cardiol. 2023 Sep;46(9):1021-1027. doi: 10.1002/clc.24052. Epub 2023 May 28.


Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity in the world. The role of primary prevention is particularly relevant since IHD can be for a long time asymptomatic until the occurrence of a condition that could lead to plaque instabilization or increased oxygen demand. Secondary prevention is also essential to improve patients' prognosis and quality of life. The aim of this review is to provide a detailed and updated description of the role of sport and physical activity both in primary prevention and secondary prevention. In primary prevention, sport and physical activity are effective through the control of the main cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension and dyslipidemia. In secondary prevention, sport and physical activity can lead to a reduction in subsequent coronary events. Every effort must be made to encourage the performance of physical and sports activity both in asymptomatic subjects at risk and those with a history of IHD.

Keywords: cardiovascular prevention; ischemic heart disease; physical activity; sport.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / prevention & control
  • Primary Prevention
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Sports*