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Preparticipation cardiovascular screening among National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Institutions
  1. Eric Emmanuel Coris1,
  2. Frances Sahebzamani2,
  3. Anne Curtis3,
  4. Jason Jennings4,
  5. Stephen M Walz5,
  6. Dylan Nugent6,
  7. Erika Reese7,8,
  8. Kira K Zwygart9,
  9. Jeff G Konin10,11,
  10. Michele Pescasio4,9,10,
  11. Jonathan A Drezner12,13
  1. 1Division of Primary Care Sports Medicine, College of Medicine, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
  2. 2Department of Nursing, Colleges of Nursing and Medicine, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
  4. 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  5. 5Department of Athletics, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
  6. 6Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida, USA
  7. 7Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
  8. 8Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, College of Medicine, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
  9. 9Department of Family Medicine, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
  10. 10Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
  11. 11Department of Public Health, Eastern Connecticut State University, Camden, Connecticut, USA
  12. 12Department of Family Medicine, The University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  13. 13Department of Athletics, The University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Eric Emmanuel Coris, Division of Primary Care Sports Medicine, College of Medicine, The University of South Florida, 13330 Laurel Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, USA; ecoris{at}health.usf.edu

Abstract

Background Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in competitive athletes during sport, and screening strategies for the prevention of sudden cardiac death are debated. The purpose of this study was to assess the incorporation of routine non-invasive cardiovascular screening (NICS), such as ECG or echocardiography, in Division I collegiate preparticipation examinations.

Methods Cross-sectional survey of current screening practices sent to the head athletic trainer of all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I football programmes listed in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association directory.

Results Seventy-four of 116 (64%) programmes responded. Thirty-five of 74 (47%) of responding schools have incorporated routine NICS testing. ECG is the primary modality for NICS in 31 (42%) of schools, and 17 (49%) also utilise echocardiography. Sixty-four per cent of the programmes that do NICS routinely screen their athletes only once as incoming freshmen. Of institutions that do not conduct NICS, American Heart Association guidelines against routine NICS and cost were the most common reasons reported.

Conclusions While substantial debate exists regarding protocols for cardiovascular screening in athletes, nearly half of NCAA Division I football programmes in this study already incorporate NICS into their preparticipation screening programme. Additional research is needed to understand the impact of NICS in collegiate programmes.

  • Cardiology prevention
  • Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular epidemiology
  • Injury Prevention

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