Pre-competition cardiac screening in professional handball players - setting up at the EHF European Handball Championship 2010 in Austria

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2011 Aug;161(15-16):387-93. doi: 10.1007/s10354-011-0018-3.


In many sports, regular cardiac screening for exercise-associated sudden cardiac death is still not provided. To set up the current situation in top-skilled handball players qualified for the 2010 European Handball Championship in Austria, a standardised questionnaire was sent to every team. The fact that only 42.7% of the players returned the questionnaire may lead to the conclusion that the awareness of the problem is quite low. However, 82% of these players have been screened according to current recommendations. Half of the teams were screened inhomogeneously: 5 players (4.1%) have not been screened within the last years, 1 athlete (0.8%) was screened without an ECG. While 69% of the athletes got their first screening only after the age of 18, 16 players (13.1%) never went through a specific screening ever. We identified 17 athletes (13.9%) with a highly suspicious history, 2 of them (1.6%) never underwent a medical screening at all.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Austria
  • Competitive Behavior*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control*
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Europe
  • Exercise Test
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medical History Taking
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sports*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Utilization Review / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult