Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Few doctors follow sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes, survey finds

Date:
December 1, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
According to a state survey, fewer than 6 percent of doctors fully follow national guidelines for assessing sudden cardiac death risk during high school sports physicals, researchers report.

According to a state survey, fewer than 6 percent of doctors fully follow national guidelines for assessing sudden cardiac death risk during high school sports physicals, researchers said at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.

The study was based on responses of 1,113 pediatricians and family doctors and 317 high school athletic directors in Washington state.

Less than half of the doctors and only 6 percent of the athletic directors reported that they were even aware of the guidelines. None of the athletic directors said their schools required physicals to comply with all guidelines.

In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating due to an irregular heart rhythm. Without treatment, death occurs within minutes.

"A young person at the peak of physical prowess, dying without any warning -- it's a shocking, tragic and potentially preventable death," said Nicolas Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., lead researcher and pediatric cardiology fellow at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Recent studies suggest that among the more than 7 million U.S. high school athletes, one out of every 30,000 to 50,000 dies annually from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest.

The American Heart Association published 12-point sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes in 1996 and re-affirmed them in 2007. They consist of eight medical history questions and four physical exam elements, including listening to the heart and checking blood pressure.

Researchers sent 2,190 survey questionnaires by mail and email to pediatricians, family doctors and athletic directors over two months. The unusually high response rate -- 56 percent to 75 percent -- suggests a compelling interest in the issue, Madsen said.

Physicians were asked questions about pre-sports physicals. Athletic directors were asked about their school's requirements for physicals.

Researchers then used regression analysis and other techniques to determine the level of compliance with national guidelines.

Doctors reported missing several critical questions during screenings:

  • 28 percent didn't always ask about chest pain during exercise;
  • 22 percent didn't always ask about unexplained fainting;
  • 26 percent didn't always ask about a family history of early death;
  • 67 percent didn't always ask about a family history of heart disease.

Study results didn't change with the doctor's specialty, level of experience, location or the athletes' school size. Screening frequency and familiarity with the guidelines were linked to greater compliance.

"We need new directions to educate providers and improve policy requirements so patients can actually benefit from these national recommendations," Madsen said.

The doctors and athletic directors unanimously supported adopting a statewide form incorporating national screening guidelines. Parents should ask doctors and schools if a standardized form is being used, Madsen said.

Co-authors are: Jonathan Drezner, M.D. and Jack Salerno, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Few doctors follow sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes, survey finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111113141250.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, December 1). Few doctors follow sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes, survey finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111113141250.htm
American Heart Association. "Few doctors follow sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes, survey finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111113141250.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins