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Ann Intern Med. 2006 Oct 3;145(7):507-11.

Brief communication: Cardiovascular screening practices of major North American professional sports teams.

Author information

1
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407, USA. kharris@mplsheart.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Customary preparticipation screening strategies to detect heart disease in professional athletes have not been examined systematically.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the current preparticipation cardiovascular screening process for professional athletes.

DESIGN:

Screening practices surveyed by questionnaire.

SETTING:

The 122 major professional sports teams in North America.

PARTICIPANTS:

Athletic trainers and team physicians.

MEASUREMENTS:

League recommendations for history taking and physical examination and noninvasive testing were compared with screening recommendations from an American Heart Association consensus panel.

RESULTS:

All 122 teams have team physicians perform annual screening, including family and personal history taking (100%), physical examination (100%), and lipid panels (108 of 122 [89%]). Diagnostic testing by using electrocardiography was substantially more common (112 of 122 [92%]) than exercise testing and stress echocardiography (21 of 122 [17%]) or echocardiography (16 of 122 [13%]). League recommendations for history taking and physical examination were most complete for Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, meeting 10 of 12 and 8 of 12 American Heart Association recommendations, respectively. The most comprehensive cardiovascular screening using echocardiography is confined to selected, elite professional basketball players.

LIMITATIONS:

Data were self-reported by team representatives.

CONCLUSIONS:

A variety of nonstandardized preparticipation screening strategies for the detection of cardiovascular disease, varying considerably in scope, constitute customary practice among professional sports teams.

PMID:
17015868
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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