Aaron L. Baggish Leadership Team

Aaron L. Baggish is the director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cardiovascular Performance Program, a program designed to provide comprehensive cardiovascular care to athletes. His clinical practice, dedicated to the care of athletes and active individuals, serves people across the spectrum from elite professional/Olympic competitors to recreational athletes. Baggish is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Sports Medicine. He serves as medical director for the Boston Athletic Association and the Boston Marathon, and as cardiologist for Harvard University Athletics, the New England Patriots, and the Boston Bruins. His research interests include exercise-induced cardiac remodeling, pre-participation screening/sudden death prevention, and the cardiovascular effects of anabolic steroid use. His research group, the Harvard Athlete Initiative, conducted the first blinded comparison of competitive athlete screening with and without 12-lead ECG screening (Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010). Baggish was the lead author on the RACER Study, a decade-long effort designed to examine sudden death during long-distance running events (New England Journal of Medicine, 2012). He currently maintains independent research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the National Football League Players Association, and the Department of Defense.

Harvard Catalyst Profile

Understanding the Athlete’s Heart

Aaron Baggish’s research explores how strength training may affect the heart, which can differ from the effects of endurance training. Strength training makes the heart walls stiff and inflexible, and challenges the organ to work harder to fill with blood.