Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes

JACC Heart Fail. 2018 Jan;6(1):30-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2017.07.014.


Sudden cardiac death is a tragedy at any age and under any circumstances but is perhaps most tragic when it claims the life of the athlete, the individual who epitomizes health and a healthy lifestyle. Sports cardiologists from around the world have worked to quantitate the incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the athlete, to identify risk factors, to develop pre-participation screening tools, and to formulate plans to deal with on-field SCD. Progress has been made, but much remains to be done in order to make both competitive and recreational sports safer for both patients with known cardiac disease and athletes without known or suspected cardiac abnormalities.

Keywords: athlete; cardiac arrest; electrocardiogram; emergency action plan; pre-participation screening; sudden cardiac death.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Global Health
  • Heart Diseases / complications
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate / trends