Sudden Death During the Triathlon | Sports Medicine | JAMA | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
April 7, 2010

Sudden Death During the Triathlon

JAMA. 2010;303(13):1255-1257. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.368

To the Editor: Triathlon is among the most vigorous amateur athletic disciplines, requiring expertise in swimming, biking, and running.1-3 Although sudden death risk has been assessed for the amateur marathon,4 it has not been systematically investigated for triathlon.

Participants who completed 2971 USA Triathlon (USAT) sanctioned events from January 2006 through September 2008 were tabulated using online race results (approximately 95% of event results).5 Participants in nonsanctioned races, relay races, or triathlons without full swim-bike-run sequence were excluded. Deaths were identified in the US Registry of Sudden Deaths in Athletes6 and USAT records,5 which have tabulated these events over 30 and 5 years, respectively; autopsy reports were obtained from medical examiners. The Abbott Northwestern Hospital institutional review board determined this study was exempt. Confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Poisson analysis (JMP version 7; SAS Institute Inc, Cary, North Carolina).