ECG Addition to the Standard Sports Physical?


In the near future, going out for a sports team may require more than just a basic physical exam, especially for young people with a family history of cardiovascular abnormalities.

In response to growing concern involving sudden cardiac death in young athletes, a study conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital Health Center suggested electrocardiogram (ECG) testing to the traditional physical. The hope is that the test will help doctors identify key abnormalities that are responsible for sports-related sudden death.

Every year, two out of every 100,000 young athletes dies from hidden cardiovascular disease. According to a study published in the journal Circulation, 1,866 athletes ages eight to 39 died suddenly or survived cardiac arrest between 1980 and 2006.

— Aurora Wingard