Sudden cardiac death in young athletes and nonathletes

Brian J. Cross, N. A Mark Estes, Mark S. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article will review the incidence and most common causes of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in healthy young adults, including competitive athletes, as well as members of the general population. RECENT FINDINGS: SCD is rare but devastating in a young individual. The incidence of SCD in the young ranges from as low as 0.4 per 100000 patient-years to as high as 13.4 per 100000 patient-years. SCD occurs in all populations, not only in athletes. SUMMARY: Whether SCD is more common in athletes is the cause of continued debate stemming from conflicting data. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common underlying cause of SCD in young athletes in most series; however, in nonathletic populations, the underlying causes of SCD are more varied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-334
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • athlete
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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