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Preventing sudden cardiac death in young athletes – A perspective from the United States

Nov. 24, 2021

Sudden cardiac death in young athletes is a rare, but devastating complication of several clinically silent conditions which can become unmasked during periods of intense physical activity. Prevention of sudden cardiac death starts with robust screening to allow the early identification of at risk individuals and the implementation of preventive strategies. The specific approach to screening (history and physical, with or without pre-participation electrocardiograms) varies across the globe with some notable differences between that used in Europe and the United States. The rationale for this variation is complex, but can be linked to the differences in risk factor prevalence, the healthcare infrastructure, and the capacity to identify and triage at risk individuals in a cost-effective manner. Beyond knowing the differences in the approaches to screening, establishing strategies that work (including novel techniques) and those that can be implemented in a successful and sustainable manner are key.

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