Athletes' sudden heart deaths eclipse past estimates: study led by Dr. Kimberly Harmon published in Heart and the British Journal of Sports Medicine

Kimberly G. Harmon, MDSudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among athletes, but the incidence of such deaths has only been estimated, to date, because reporting has not been mandatory.

A new study by University of Washington researchers, with collaborators in the United Kingdom and Qatar, suggests that the incidence may be 1 in 50,000 — four times higher than the most frequently cited figure of 1 in 200,000 athletes.

Two journals, Heart and the British Journal of Sports Medicine, simultaneously published the study online. The lead author is Dr. Kimberly Harmon, a UW professor of family medicine and of orthopedics and sports medicine.

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