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Sudden cardiac death in athletes: A mini-review

Soori, Rahman; Gharehlo, Ali; Hashemi, Naeimeh; Hashemi, Narges; Ingle, Lee


Rahman Soori

Ali Gharehlo

Naeimeh Hashemi

Narges Hashemi


Elite young athletes with clinically silent cardiovascular disorders are at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in competitive sports activity. SCD is caused by a variety of conditions; in middle-aged/senior athletes, atherosclerotic coronary artery disease accounts for the vast majority of cases. In younger athletes, the spectrum of SCD causes is broader and includes inherited (cardiomyopathies) and congenital structural heart disease. Inherited ion channelopathies have been implicated also, with an apparently normal heart morphology identified at autopsy. SCD screening allows identification of athletes affected by occult conditions at a pre-symptomatic stage, and may lead to reduction of risk of SCD during sporting competition or training. The use of modern criteria for interpretation of the electrocardiogram (ECG) offers the potential to improve screening accuracy by reducing the number of false positives. Exercise testing in middle aged/senior athletes engaged in leisure sports activity is likely to be effective in screening significant coronary risk factors, while it is less effective in lower risk groups. Besides screening, the availability of automated external defibrillators at sporting environments is a preventative strategy to help intervene during unexpected cardiac arrest.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal World Heart Journal
Print ISSN 1556-4002
Publisher Nova Science Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Soori, R., Gharehlo, A., Hashemi, N., Hashemi, N., & Ingle, L. (in press). Sudden cardiac death in athletes: A mini-review. World Heart Journal,
Keywords Athletes; Death; Cardiac; Screening
Publisher URL Nova Science Publishers