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Friday 28th October 2016

Call for sporting heart screening

4th July 2008

UK campaigners want to see the wider availability of tests to spot signs of hidden heart conditions in sportspeople.


The group Cardiac Risk in the Young points to hundred of young people in the UK suffering “sudden cardiac death” every year and believes such tests could help save lives.

The call follows a study that has concluded that screening sports stars for signs of hidden heart conditions could prevent unnecessary deaths.

Scientists writing in the British Medical Journal said heart problems had been detected in athletes in Italy who had undergone ECG tests.

The Italian study, carried out at the Institute of Sports Medicine in Florence, said that ECG would be a highly effective way to find those most at risk.

Cardiac death in the young is rare but it can strike without warning and affect top athletes as well as ordinary people, as happened with Cameroon footballer Marc Vivien Foe who died during a high profile match.

It is estimated that there are at least 400 sudden cardiac deaths in younger people every year in Britain.

Cardiac Risk in the Young carries out ECG screening in the UK and its chief executive Alison Cox said she hoped the research would encourage an expansion in demand for the service among community athletics clubs and elite sports people.

She added: “We have been calling for this since 1995, when many people were dismissing the idea. The test we do costs £35. It seems a small price to pay for a test that could save your life.”


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