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Detecting occult cardiac disease in athletes: history that makes a difference
  1. Irfan M Asif1,
  2. Jonathan A Drezner2
  1. 1 Department of Family Medicine, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
  2. 2 Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Irfan M Asif, Department of Family Medicine, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, 1924 Alcoa Hwy U-67, Knoxville, TN 37920, USA; iasif{at}

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Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the leading cause of mortality in young athletes during exercise and is triggered by intense exertion in those individuals with occult cardiovascular abnormalities.1 All major medical and sporting organisations recommend cardiovascular screening prior to competitive athletics.2–5 As such, primary care physicians routinely perform preparticipation physical examinations with the goal of promoting health and safety in the athlete. Regardless of the often-polarising debate surrounding the inclusion (or not) of an ECG to the traditional history and physical examination, it is crucial for physicians to avoid minimising findings that may be suggestive of cardiac pathology in an effort to appropriately identify affected individuals. Widely available cardiovascular disease (CVD) treatments and therapies can lead to significant prevention in morbidity and mortality.

Warning! warning! family history of SCD <35 years old

In a recent article, Ranthe et al 6 presented …

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  • Contributors IMA and JAD drafted pieces of the manuscript and reviewed its contents for accuracy.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.