Sports-related Sudden Death

Should all athletes not just competitive athletes be screened for heart problems before they start an exercise program?That’s the question researchers wanted to answer when they analyzed cases of sports-related sudden death in France.They looked at data from more than 6,500 recreational athletes who engaged in cycling, jogging or swimming. All of the athletes were 15 to 75 years of age. Between 2005 and 2010, a total of 775 deaths were reported during moderate to vigorous exertion.The researchers discovered that compared to men, women had a much lower incidence of sports-related sudden death. Only 5% of the cases were women. And while the rate of sudden death increased significantly with age among men, it did not with women.There were gender differences by sport, as well In men, cycling and jogging were linked to many more sudden deaths than swimming, but in women there were no real differences by activity.The researchers say women may be at lower risk of sudden death because their prevalence of coronary heart disease is lower in youth and middle-age. They say these findings suggest that gender and types of sports should be considered when developing screening strategies for athletes. I’m Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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