Abstract 16387: Preventing Cardiovascular Disease and Sudden Cardiac Death by Pre-screening Athletes
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and sudden cardiac death (SCD) among young athletes (YA) remains consistent and continues to influence preventative practices and pre-screening debate. In the United States, screening for SCD in young athletes follows the American Heart Association 12-step screening questions focusing on personal history, family history, and physical examination. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) outlines a pre-participation screening (PPS) method to minimize SCD and cardiac arrest (CA) by using family history, athlete’s history in sports, physical examination, and a resting 12-lead ECG. Negative findings allow athlete to continue with sports, whereas positive findings require athletes to continue with additional diagnostic tests (echo, stress test, etc.)
Method: Using the U.S. National Registry of Sudden Death in Athletes from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Working Group, we analyzed the annual mortality rates of sudden cardiac death in young athletes in the U.S. compared to the sudden cardiac death rates as reported through the Veneto study.
Results: In a 1980-2006 study, using the U.S. National Registry of Sudden Death in Athletes, 1866 sudden deaths were evaluated finding 690 cases were correlated to CVD, with a leading cause of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Research shows that every 3 days in the U.S., we lose an athlete to SCD. A study from 1979-2004 in the Veneto region in Italy reported an annual SCD incidence of 1.9 deaths/100,000 person-years in screened young athletes and 0.79 deaths/100,000 person-years in unscreened nonathletic participants. Additionally, the study found an 89% decrease in SCD in athletes with 3.6/100,000 person-years from 1979-1980 and a reported 0.4/100,000 person-years in 2003-2004.
Conclusion: In the U.S., 690 sudden cardiac deaths out of 1866 sudden deaths (leading cause as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) may have been detected using the PPS by adding an ECG to the pre-screening examination. It remains significant that the Veneto study demonstrated little change in SCD in unscreened non-athletes throughout 1979-2004 but notes a significant 89% decrease in SCD in screened athletes paralleling with the 1982 implementation of pre-participation screening.
Author Disclosures: K. Greeley: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.