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Comment & Response |

Cardiovascular Screening for Young Athletes

Kimberly G. Harmon, MD1; Jonathan A. Drezner, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA. 2015;313(16):1673-1674. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3231.
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To the Editor In a Viewpoint on cardiovascular screening, Dr Maron and colleagues1 argued that sudden cardiac death in athletes is rare, and therefore resources should be directed away from cardiovascular screening and toward other public health initiatives. Examples from Denmark were used to support the case. We assert that the statistical comparisons presented were not accurate.

In an effort to convey proportionality, statistics on suicides and motor vehicle crashes from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were compared with statistics from the US National Registry of Sudden Death in Athletes, which are disparate sources with different populations and data collection methods. The CDC draws from state-reported population statistics, whereas the registry is a voluntary report of athlete cases. In the CDC data from 2012, motor vehicle crashes were 7.2 times and suicide 5 times more frequent than death from heart disease in the 15- to 24-year-old age group,2 not 150 and 60 times as stated in the article by Maron and colleagues.

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April 28, 2015
Barry J. Maron, MD; Bo Gregers Winkel, MD, PhD; Jacob Tfelt-Hansen, MD, DMSc
1Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2Department of Cardiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
JAMA. 2015;313(16):1674. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3237.
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