Nutritionists interested in promoting good life styles always mention sporting activities. However from time to time this worthy advice is marred by the death of a fit young person.
Cardiac death in young athletes is caused by a wide range of structural diseases of the heart eg cardiomyopathies and electrical channel defects.
A questionnaire before embarking on heavy sport can help identify those at risk e.g. family history of sudden death in young parents , exertional chest pain, undue breathlessness fainting attacks .
However more than two thirds of sudden deaths occur in previously fit young athletes.
Clearance by a standardised questionnaire, physical examination and an . electrocardiogram reduced sudden death to one tenth of the previous experience
A large study by Sofi and colleagues in the BMJ showed that resting and exercise electrocardiography was a good way to identify those at risk.
Editorial 2008 Sudden cardiac death in young athletes BMJ vol 337 pp 61-62
Sofi et al 208, Cardiovascular evaluation ,including resting and exercise electrocardiography before participating in competitive sport: cross sectional study. BMJ vol 337 88-92
- Martin Eastwood