An American research team performed a 2-year prospective surveillance study to determine the etiology of sudden cardiac arrest and death (SCA/D) in US competitive athletes. A total of 179 cases of SCA/D were identified (74 arrests with survival, 105 deaths): average age 16.6 years, 149 men, 94 whites, and 54 African American. The most common etiologies included hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , coronary artery anomalies, idiopathic left ventricular hypertrophy/possible cardiomyopathy, autopsy-negative sudden unexplained death, Wolff-Parkinson-White, and long QT syndrome. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was more common in male basketball, football, and African American athletes. An estimated 56.4% of cases would likely demonstrate abnormalities on an electrocardiogram.
Clin J Sport Med. 2018 Apr 9. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000598.