A 10-year review of sudden death during sporting activities

A 10-year review of sudden death during sporting activities.

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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2018.04.019
Journal or Publication Title: Heart Rhythm
Volume: 15
Number: 10
Page Range: pp. 1477-1483
Date: 2018
Divisions: Molecular Cardiology
Depositing User: General Admin
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2018.04.019
ISSN: 15475271
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2021 05:34

Sudden death during sport is a rare but devastating event. Previous research has mostly focused on sudden deaths in young competitive athletes.

The purpose of this study was to characterize the demographics and etiologies of sudden cardiac death during sport in Australia.

All autopsies conducted at our forensic medicine facility between 2006 and 2015 inclusive were reviewed. Sporting-related deaths among those 7–65 years of age were identified. Data collected included subject height, weight, gender, circumstances of death, and pathologic findings at autopsy.

A total of 19,740 autopsies were completed in the study period: 12,395 in subjects age 18–65 years (adults) and 385 in subjects age 7–17 years (children). There were 201 sports-related adult deaths at an incidence rate of 0.76–1.49 per 100,000 participant-years. Of the deaths, 74% were witnessed. Of the adult cases, 68% (n = 136) were due to cardiac causes, with coronary artery disease the most frequent cause (n = 90 [45%]). Structural abnormalities were common in adult cardiac deaths; 51 (38%) had cardiac weight ≥500 g, and 75 (55%) had left ventricular wall thickness >15 mm. Of the 15 child deaths, 5 (33%) were arrhythmogenic or presumed arrhythmic, and 5 (33%) were inherited cardiomyopathies (2 hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 3 arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy).

Sudden cardiac death during sport is rare. Deaths are mostly due to coronary artery disease in adults and cardiomyopathy or arrhythmia in children. Because the majority of sports deaths are witnessed, they present an opportunity to enhance outcomes by cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and increased availability of automated external defibrillators at sports venues.

Dennis, Mark
Elder, Alexander
Semsarian, Christopher
Orchard, John
Brouwer, Isabel
Puranik, Rajesh
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2021 05:34
URI: https://eprints.centenary.org.au/id/eprint/608

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