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Incidence of sudden cardiac arrest in high school student athletes on school campus

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      Sudden deaths in young competitive athletes: analysis of 1866 deaths in the United States, 1980-2006.

      Sudden deaths in young competitive athletes are highly visible events with substantial impact on the physician and lay communities. However, the magnitude of this public health issue has become a source of controversy. To estimate the absolute number of sudden deaths in US competitive athletes, we have assembled a large registry over a 27-year period using systematic identification and tracking strategies. A total of 1866 athletes who died suddenly (or survived cardiac arrest), 19+/-6 years of age, were identified throughout the United States from 1980 to 2006 in 38 diverse sports. Reports were less common during 1980 to 1993 (576 [31%]) than during 1994 to 2006 (1290 [69%], P<0.001) and increased at a rate of 6% per year. Sudden deaths were predominantly due to cardiovascular disease (1049 [56%]), but causes also included blunt trauma that caused structural damage (416 [22%]), commotio cordis (65 [3%]), and heat stroke (46 [2%]). Among the 1049 cardiovascular deaths, the highest number of events in a single year was 76 (2005 and 2006), with an average of 66 deaths per year (range 50 to 76) over the last 6 years; 29% occurred in blacks, 54% in high school students, and 82% with physical exertion during competition/training, whereas only 11% occurred in females (although this increased with time; P=0.023). The most common cardiovascular causes were hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (36%) and congenital coronary artery anomalies (17%). In this national registry, the absolute number of cardiovascular sudden deaths in young US athletes was somewhat higher than previous estimates but relatively low nevertheless, with a rate of <100 per year. These data are relevant to the current debate surrounding preparticipation screening programs with ECGs and also suggest the need for systematic and mandatory reporting of athlete sudden deaths to a national registry.
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        Trends in sudden cardiovascular death in young competitive athletes after implementation of a preparticipation screening program.

        A nationwide systematic preparticipation athletic screening was introduced in Italy in 1982. The impact of such a program on prevention of sudden cardiovascular death in the athlete remains to be determined. To analyze trends in incidence rates and cardiovascular causes of sudden death in young competitive athletes in relation to preparticipation screening. A population-based study of trends in sudden cardiovascular death in athletic and nonathletic populations aged 12 to 35 years in the Veneto region of Italy between 1979 and 2004. A parallel study examined trends in cardiovascular causes of disqualification from competitive sports in 42,386 athletes undergoing preparticipation screening at the Center for Sports Medicine in Padua (22,312 in the early screening period [1982-1992] and 20,074 in the late screening period [1993-2004]). Incidence trends of total cardiovascular and cause-specific sudden death in screened athletes and unscreened nonathletes of the same age range over a 26-year period. During the study period, 55 sudden cardiovascular deaths occurred in screened athletes (1.9 deaths/100,000 person-years) and 265 sudden deaths in unscreened nonathletes (0.79 deaths/100,000 person-years). The annual incidence of sudden cardiovascular death in athletes decreased by 89% (from 3.6/100,000 person-years in 1979-1980 to 0.4/100,000 person-years in 2003-2004; P for trend < .001), whereas the incidence of sudden death among the unscreened nonathletic population did not change significantly. The mortality decline started after mandatory screening was implemented and persisted to the late screening period. Compared with the prescreening period (1979-1981), the relative risk of sudden cardiovascular death in athletes was 0.56 in the early screening period (95% CI, 0.29-1.15; P = .04) and 0.21 in the late screening period (95% CI, 0.09-0.48; P = .001). Most of the reduced mortality was due to fewer cases of sudden death from cardiomyopathies (from 1.50/100,000 person-years in the prescreening period to 0.15/100,000 person-years in the late screening period; P for trend = .002). During the study period, 879 athletes (2.0%) were disqualified from competition due to cardiovascular causes at the Center for Sports Medicine: 455 (2.0%) in the early screening period and 424 (2.1%) in the late screening period. The proportion of athletes who were disqualified for cardiomyopathies increased from 20 (4.4%) of 455 in the early screening period to 40 (9.4%) of 424 in the late screening period (P = .005). The incidence of sudden cardiovascular death in young competitive athletes has substantially declined in the Veneto region of Italy since the introduction of a nationwide systematic screening. Mortality reduction was predominantly due to a lower incidence of sudden death from cardiomyopathies that paralleled the increasing identification of athletes with cardiomyopathies at preparticipation screening.
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          Does sports activity enhance the risk of sudden death in adolescents and young adults?

          We sought to assess the risk of sudden death (SD) in both male and female athletes age 12 to 35 years. Little is known about the risk of SD in adolescents and young adults engaged in sports. We did a 21-year prospective cohort study of all young people of the Veneto Region of Italy. From 1979 to 1999, the total population of adolescents and young adults averaged 1,386,600 (692,100 males and 694,500 females), of which 112,790 (90,690 males and 22,100 females) were competitive athletes. An analysis by gender of risk of SD and underlying pathologic substrates was performed in the athletic and non-athletic populations. There were 300 cases of SD, producing an overall cohort incidence rate of 1 in 100,000 persons per year. Fifty-five SDs occurred among athletes (2.3 in 100,000 per year) and 245 among non-athletes (0.9 in 100,000 per year), with an estimated relative risk (RR) of 2.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8 to 3.4; p < 0.0001). The RR of SD among athletes versus non-athletes was 1.95 (CI 1.3 to 2.6; p = 0.0001) for males and 2.00 (CI 0.6 to 4.9; p = 0.15) for females. The higher risk of SD in athletes was strongly related to underlying cardiovascular diseases such as congenital coronary artery anomaly (RR 79, CI 10 to 3,564; p < 0.0001), arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (RR 5.4, CI 2.5 to 11.2; p < 0.0001), and premature coronary artery disease (RR 2.6, CI 1.2 to 5.1; p = 0.008). Sports activity in adolescents and young adults was associated with an increased risk of SD, both in males and females. Sports, per se, was not a cause of the enhanced mortality, but it triggered SD in those athletes who were affected by cardiovascular conditions predisposing to life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias during physical exercise.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Heart Rhythm
            Heart Rhythm
            Elsevier BV
            15475271
            July 2014
            July 2014
            : 11
            : 7
            : 1190-1194
            10.1016/j.hrthm.2014.04.017
            © 2014

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