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Beyond sudden death in the athlete: how to identify family members at risk
  1. Giovanni Quarta1,2,
  2. Pier Lambiase1,
  3. Perry Elliott1
  1. 1The Heart Hospital, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2Cardiology Department, II School of Medicine, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, S. Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Perry Elliott, The Heart Hospital, 16–18 Westmoreland Street, London W1G 8PH, UK; perry.elliott{at}


Sudden death in young athletes is always a catastrophic event which focuses medical and public attention on the prevention of similar tragedies in other sporting participants. In this review article, we discuss the importance of evaluation of family members, who, by virtue of the familial nature of many of the diseases that cause sudden cardiac death, are potentially at risk of a similar outcome. We show that a systematic approach to the clinical evaluation of relatives of sudden death victims has a high yield in the identification of other affected family members and may prevent further catastrophic events in the same family.

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.