The Evidence Against Cardiac Screening Using Electrocardiogram in Athletes

Chad A. Asplund, Francis G. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young athletes is publicly remarkable and tragic because of the loss of a seemingly healthy young person. Because many of the potential etiologies may be identified with a preparticipation electrocardiogram (ECG), the possible use of an ECG as a screening tool has received much attention. A good screening test should be cost-effective and should influence a disease or health outcome that has a significant impact on public health. The reality is that the prevalence of SCD is low and no outcome-based data exist to determine whether early detection saves lives. Further, there is insufficient screening infrastructure, and the risk of screening and follow-up may be higher than that of the actual disease. Until outcomes data demonstrate a benefit with regard to SCD, universal screening cannot be recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Sports Medicine Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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