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 August 23, 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 August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. 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