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January 29, 1973

The Routine Electrocardiogram

JAMA. 1973;223(5):558. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220050058026

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To the Editor.—  Did a recent case report in The Journal really support the author's appeal for "routine electrocardiography in all candidates for competitive athletics regardless of age?" (221:1047, 1972). A 20-year-old patient had well-documented, known congenital heart disease that she chose to conceal so she could do what she wanted. A history from her own physician would have been just as revealing as an electrocardiogram. Should all athletes have a lie detector test to check on other problems not revealed by the ECG? Rose (208:2319, 1969) has explored rapid electrocardiographic screening of athletes, and has reported his collected data on sudden deaths in young athletes. The details that Dr. Rose was able to obtain in many of these deaths are so meager that it is impossible to know if any of the subjects would have had their potential anomalies revealed by ECG. The significance of some minor electrocardiographic changes