Data from a nationwide registry on sports-related sudden cardiac deaths in Germany


Background Prospective national registries examining the incidence and aetiology of sports-related sudden cardiac death (SrSCD) not only in competitive athletes but also in recreational sports participants are uncommon. In May 2012, a prospective registry on SrSCD was installed to examine the incidence and particularly the aetiology of such events in the general population in Germany.

Methods The registry consists of a web-based platform to record SrSCD cases. Media-monitoring and cooperation with 15 institutes of forensic medicine complemented the search. SrSCD was defined as death occurring during sports activity or up to 1 hour after its cessation, regardless of successful resuscitation. We included subjects at all levels of competition as well as recreational athletes.

Results After 30 months of observation, 144 SrSCDs were recorded (mean age 46.8 ± 16.2 years). The overall incidence was 1.2–1.5/million/year, with 97% being male. Most of the cases occurred in the context of non-elite competitive or recreational sports. Football and running were the most common disciplines. In subjects ≤35 years, myocarditis prevailed, whereas in athletes ≥35 years, CAD predominated by far. Few cardiomyopathies were observed.

Conclusions In Germany, the largest proportion of SrSCDs occurs in middle-aged men during recreational sports or non-elite competitive sports. The distribution of cardiac diseases responsible for SrSCD seems to vary among European countries. Our findings may indicate the need for a larger focus on myocarditis prevention in the young as well as widening the screening scope to younger athletes below the ‘elite’ level and to senior athletes.

Autor / Fonte:Philipp Bohm, Jürgen Scharhag, Tim Meyer European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2015 June 30