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Heartbeat: Highlights from this issue
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  1. Catherine M Otto

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The sudden death of an athlete during a sports event dramatically highlights the need for cardiologists and sports medicine specialists to work together in preventing premature death during exercise across the age spectrum from the teenage student to the professional athlete. In this issue of Heart, we present the first of a series of review articles published collaboratively with the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM). The state-of-the-art review by Harmon and colleagues (see page 1227) summarizes studies describing the incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in athletes and critically examines the methodology and reliability of these estimates. The bottom line is that although defining the exact incidence of SCD in athletes is challenging, a reasonable estimate, based on synthesis of the data, is 1:50,000 in college athletes and between 1:50,000 and 1 in 80,000 in high school athletes. The incidence of SCD may be higher is some subgroups including men, African-Americans and basketball players. Future articles in this series will highlight other issues related to exercise and cardiovascular disease.

Exercise is also the focus of an original research paper by Dr Utomi …

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