A Review of Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes
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With the highly publicized sudden cardiac deaths of Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis in the early 1990’s there has been an increase in research associated with heart conditions in athletes. The work of recent researchers has identified more than twenty unique causes of sudden cardiac death including the top five contributing heart conditions to these fatal situations. This research was conducted with the hopes of helping to prevent future sudden cardiac deaths, especially among athletes. Along with the identification of such conditions technology has also improved to better diagnose and treat athletes. Improvements in technology are used to identify athletes who may be predisposed to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death. Disappointingly these advancements in the research and technology associated with identifying and treating these cardiac anomalies have not found their way to the athletes at risk. Many athletic programs lack proper training and funding to identify these possibly life-threatening cardiac conditions and allow athletes to compete without proper cardiac screen.