NCAA and PHW Data Shows Sudden Cardiac Arrest is More Common

We need more studies like this.  Whether they prove that more students are dying or not, we need to start speaking from a place of fact, not emotion.  We need to debate the findings, not the feelings.  If our kids are dying unecessarily, as I believe they are, we need to know about it and do something about it.

College athletes across the nation suffer from sudden cardiac death up to seven times more frequently than previously reported, according to a study released Monday by researchers at the University of Washington.

The study found that, among the 400,000 athletes who participate in National Collegiate Athletic Association sports every year, basketball players have the highest rate of sudden cardiac death. The data also uncovered that women college athletes are at a far higher risk than previously believed.

Unlike previous studies, researchers used data from the NCAA and Parent Heart Watch, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting young people from cardiac death. They narrowed their search to 17- to 24-year-olds who died in the period from January 2004 to December 2008.

They hope their findings will encourage schools to require a more vigorous screening for underlying heart conditions before athletes join sports teams.

Earlier studies have estimated the rate of sudden cardiac death among young athletes to be as low as 1 in 300,000, but the UW study found the rate is approximately 1 in 43,000.

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