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Sports Cardiology and Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the Young

By Anjan S. Batra, MD, FHRS; Mary E. Hickcox


There are 25 million competitive athletes in the United States who are involved in competitive athletes involved in a network of sporting activities, including 10 million high school and college athletes. We do not know exactly how many athletes are dying each year, as there is no national registry keeping track of these numbers. The risk for SCA for the young competitive athlete population is estimated to be 2 per 100,000 persons per year,1 and it is at least 2.5-fold higher than that of the agematched non-athlete population.2 The risk for sudden cardiac death increases with increasing peak intensity of exercise and increasing level of competition.3,4 Maron et al tracked sudden deaths in U.S. competitive athletes using a large registry over a 27-year period, and reported 82% deaths with physical exertion during competition/training in males, and only 11% deaths in females.5 The most common cardiovascular causes were Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (36%) and congenital coronary artery anomalies (17%).

To read the full article, please go to the December 2016 Issue of CCT, where it was originally published.

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