Fast Five Quiz: Sudden Cardiac Death

March 27, 2023

Sudden unexpected cardiac death that occurs in young people during sports participation is usually associated with previously diagnosed or undiagnosed structural or primary electrical cardiac abnormalities. Commotio cordis is one of the leading causes of SCD in young athletes, exceeded only by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and congenital coronary artery abnormalities. Commotio cordis typically involves young athletes in whom a sudden, blunt, nonpenetrating and innocuous-appearing trauma to the anterior chest results in cardiac arrest and sudden death from ventricular fibrillation. The mean age is 14 years, according to a national registry. Approximately 15-25 commotio cordis deaths are added to the US Commotio Cordis Registry every year. Nearly 80% of episodes occur in White individuals, and nearly 95% of cases occur in men. Data from the US Commotio Cordis Registry show that 26% are younger than 10 years, and 75% are younger than 18 years.

Learn more about commotio cordis.


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