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Invited Commentary
January 2018

Effects of International Electrocardiographic Interpretation Recommendations on African American Athletes

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cardiology Clinical and Academic Group, St George’s, University of London, London, England
JAMA Cardiol. 2018;3(1):75-76. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.4573

Young athletes regularly push themselves to the limit for college, club, or country; they are role models for many. Therefore, the death of such individuals has a profound and lasting effect on the community. Most athlete deaths are due to inherited or congenital abnormalities of the heart, including cardiomyopathies, disorders involving accessory pathways, and ion channel diseases, which are detectable during life. The American Heart Association and the European Society of Cardiology support early detection of affected athletes on the premise that several interventions are available to modify the natural history of many of these diseases and thereby prevent sudden death. Despite the debate surrounding best cardiovascular screening practice, inclusion of electrocardiograms (ECGs) increases the sensitivity of detection for cardiomyopathy and electrical diseases.1 For this reason, ECGs are incorporated into the cardiac assessments of most elite athletes in Europe and North America.

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