The role of cardiorespiratory fitness on the risk of sudden cardiac death at the population level: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the available evidence

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2019 May-Jun;62(3):279-287. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2019.05.003. Epub 2019 May 8.


Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) has been widely studied as a powerful and independent predictor of all-cause and disease-specific mortality. Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is recognized as a significant cause of mortality among the general population, including the general population without previous symptoms of any coronary heart disease (CHD). Consequently, SCD is an important public health problem, which constitutes a clinical challenge. Thus, prevention of SCD by detecting early risk factors could be a useful tool, contributing to the American Heart Association's goal of decreasing the incidence of SCD at the population level. The identification of these risk factors for CVD would facilitate the large-scale screening of those participants at higher risk of SCD. This systematic review collects information about the role of CRF on the risk of SCD at the available evidence, and analyzes the long-term influence of CRF as a risk factor and independent predictor of SCD.

Keywords: Cardiorespiratory fitness; Coronary heart disease; Large cohorts; Risk factors; Sudden cardiac death.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors