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October 4, 2006

Protecting Athletes From Sudden Cardiac Death

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital and University of Connecticut, Hartford (Dr Thompson); Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (Dr Levine).

JAMA. 2006;296(13):1648-1650. doi:10.1001/jama.296.13.1648

The cardiovascular benefits of regular physical activity have been well documented,1 but vigorous exercise can also transiently increase the risk of sudden cardiac death.24 Exercise-related sudden death in adults is primarily due to coronary artery disease,2,5 whereas such events in younger individuals are due to a variety of congenital and genetic cardiovascular disorders, including inherited cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias, anomalies of the coronary arteries or to acquired cardiomyopathy.68

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