[Sudden cardiac death in athletes: is it always not preventable?]

Recenti Prog Med. 2014 Nov;105(11):410-4. doi: 10.1701/1680.18400.
[Article in Italian]


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in athletes is a rare but tragic event particularly considering that in some cases it is preventable. In young athletes with cardiovascular disease the risk of SCD is 2,5 times higher than in non-athletes. In young athletes (<35 years old), the most common causes of SCD are related to pre-existing cardiovascular disorders including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congenital coronary anomalies, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, commotio cordis, some channelopathies and cardiac sarcoidosis. Actually there are two approches to pre-participation athletic screening: the American one based on anamnesis and physical examination and the European one based on anamnesis, physical examination and ECG at rest. However, some disorders responsible for SCD can't be suspected through these exams and it could be useful to implement preparticipation athletic screening.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Risk
  • United States