2015 Parapan Games Cardiovascular Health Clinic

Why should you visit the Cardiovascular Health Clinic?

paralympicbrochures-stackIf you are an athlete with a spinal cord injury, or a wheelchair rugby player with or without a spinal cord injury, you can learn about your cardiovascular and autonomic health. If you qualify, you can participate in our research study, which could make a big difference for future Paralympic athletes.

What sort of research are we doing?

Many athletes who participate in the Paralympics have spinal cord injuries that limit their ability to regulate their heart rate and blood pressure. An increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure gives athletes the energy and stamina they need to compete in strenuous sports. For top-level athletes, being unable to incrase heart rate and blood pressure during execise can be a huge competitive disadvantage. We are studying the cardiovascular and autonomic dysfunctions that disadvantage some athletes during competition. We are collaborating with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to design a cardiovascular/autonomic classification for Paralympic athletes to complement existing IPC classifications that primarily account only for motor dysfunctions. The IPC classification of athletes is a complex and frequently challenging process, but the main goal of the classification is to allow all athletes to compete according to the Paralympic values of fair play and honourable sports competition.

What happens if you participate in the study?

  • You need to have 120 minutes to complete the study.
  • You will complete a questionnaire, and we will conduct a set of non‐invasive physiological tests to examine your blood pressure, heart rate, heart function, nervous system and brain blood flow in a clinical setting. If you are a wheelchair rugby player you will also have the option of wearing a heart rate monitor during one game. No invasive tests, or any test that could compromise your athletic performance, will be done during the evaluations.
  • You will receive $150 CDN as compensation for your time as part of the clinical measures.
  • You will receive a further $50 CDN as compensation for your participation in in-competition measures.

Where is the Cardiovascular Health Clinic?

The clinic will be located at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga (5500 Rose Cherry Pl, Mississauga, ON L4Z 4B6), this is also the site of the Wheelchair Rugby competition. The clinic will operate from August 6 to 14. Our hours are flexible: email cgee@icord.org or call Dr. Krassioukov at +1-604-760-4177 for more information.

Who’s doing this research?

Dr. Andrei Krassioukov-headshot

Dr. Andrei Krassioukov is a world-renowned expert in autonomic dysfunctions following spinal cord injury. He is the Director of the Autonomic Research Lab at ICORD, a professor at the University of British Columbia and a staff physician at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver.


Dr. Katharine Currie is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Krassioukov’s laboratory. Dr. Currie has previously traveled to the Winter games in Sochi (2014) and World Paracycling Championships (2013). She is looking forward to meeting athletes from around the world, as well as watching them perform!


Dr. Aaron Phillips is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Krassioukov’s laboratory. He completed his PhD in Experimental Medicine at UBC. Dr. Phillips’ research interest is cerebral blood flow regulation, primarily focused on those with spinal cord injury.

 Jordn Squair

Mr. Jordan Squair is an MD/PhD student in Dr. Krassioukov’s laboratory. Jordan has previously worked with classification of para-canoers at 2013 World Canoe Championships and has a particular interest in how cardiovascular function affects elite athletic performance.

 Gee parapan
Australian flagTEAM MEMBER

Mr. Cameron Gee is a research coordinator in Dr. Krassioukov’s laboratory. Cameron was a member of the research team that examined cardiovascular function and athletic performance at the 2013 World Paracycling Championships.

paralympics heartWe will give you information brochures about Boosting, Autonomic Dysreflexia, Orthostatic Hypotension and Urinary Tract Infections when you visit the clinic, but you can also download them here.

For more information on Dr. Krassioukov and his Paralympic research, please visit the Paralympics Research page.

This research began at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, continued at the 2010 games in Vancouver, the 2012 games in London, 2013 World Paracycling Championships in Baie-Comeau, and the 2014 Winter Paralympic games in Sochi. This ongoing project has received support from  ICORD, the University of British Columbia, Wellspect (2014), and Coloplast (2012-2014).