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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 89-95

Risk of sudden cardiac death and preventive measures in athletes

Department of Electrophysiology, Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Cardiac Centre, Awali, Bahrain

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adel Khalifa Sultan Hamad
Department of Electrophysiology, Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Cardiac Centre, Awali
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijca.ijca_17_22

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Arrhythmias, which are fatal in some patients, can be triggered by sports in vulnerable people. It is estimated that 1:40,000–1:250,000 athletes will suffer a sudden cardiac death (SCD). However, female athletes appear to have some level of cardiac protection, since suffering from SCD considerably less than male athletes during sports. Athletes with underlying coronary, valvular or myocardial disease, as well as channelopathies, may be particularly prone to SCD from exercise- and sports-related physical activity. There are three main causes of SCD in young athletes: Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (56%), congenital anomalous coronary arteries (7%–14%), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (36%–48%). In the context of exercise, acute ischemia, myocardial infarction, and stroke risk are increased by catecholamine surge and exercise-induced stress. In middle-aged athletes, excessive cardiovascular activity is associated with a higher risk of mortality related to cardiovascular disease. It is possible to detect at-risk athletes by conducting cardiac screening, which involves a family history, physical examination, and a resting electrocardiogram. Consequently, efforts have been made to better understand the causes of SCD in athletes and to develop appropriate prevention methods.

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