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October 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Can Divers’ Potentially Fatal Heart Changes Really be Found?

from the October, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Researchers in Pisa, Italy recently published results of tests they performed on scuba divers hearts. Using an underwater ultrasound scan, they discovered significant changes in cardiac function both during and after a dive. That test could be used to identify divers with undetected heart disease or cardiac abnormalities that might prove fatal during a dive, they wrote in Acta Physiologica.

They tested 18 scuba divers, 16 men and two women, who averaged 42 years old and had made at least 100 dives. None smoked or had hypertension, heart or lung disease. They conducted cardiac-ultrasound tests on land before and after diving, and underwater at two depths. The divers wore suits with access for an ultrasound probe and maintained a kneeling positions at a depth for specific time periods.....

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