Kevin M. Harris, MD; Austin Sponsel, BA; Adolph M. Hutter Jr., MD; Barry J. Maron, MD
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: Dr. Hutter is the team cardiologist for the Boston Bruins and the New England Patriots.
Requests for Single Reprints: Kevin M. Harris, MD, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, 920 East 28th Street, Suite 60, Minneapolis, MN 55407; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Author Addresses: Drs. Harris and Maron and Ms. Sponsel: Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, 920 East 28th Street, Suite 60, Minneapolis, MN 55407.
Dr. Hutter: Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Yawkey 5B, Boston, MA 02114.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: K.M. Harris, A.M. Hutter Jr., B.J. Maron.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: K.M. Harris, A. Sponsel, A.M. Hutter Jr., B.J. Maron.
Drafting of the article: K.M. Harris, A. Sponsel, B.J. Maron.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: K.M. Harris, A. Sponsel, A.M. Hutter Jr., B.J. Maron.
Final approval of the article: K.M. Harris, A. Sponsel, A.M. Hutter Jr., B.J. Maron.
Provision of study materials or patients: A.M. Hutter Jr.
Administrative, technical, or logistic support: A. Sponsel, B.J. Maron.
Collection and assembly of data: K.M. Harris, A. Sponsel, B.J. Maron.
Customary preparticipation screening strategies to detect heart disease in professional athletes have not been examined systematically.
To describe the current preparticipation cardiovascular screening process for professional athletes.
Screening practices surveyed by questionnaire.
The 122 major professional sports teams in North America.
Athletic trainers and team physicians.
League recommendations for history taking and physical examination and noninvasive testing were compared with screening recommendations from an American Heart Association consensus panel.
All 122 teams have team physicians perform annual screening, including family and personal history taking (100%), physical examination (100%), and lipid panels (108 of 122 [89%]). Diagnostic testing by using electrocardiography was substantially more common (112 of 122 [92%]) than exercise testing and stress echocardiography (21 of 122 [17%]) or echocardiography (16 of 122 [13%]). League recommendations for history taking and physical examination were most complete for Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, meeting 10 of 12 and 8 of 12 American Heart Association recommendations, respectively. The most comprehensive cardiovascular screening using echocardiography is confined to selected, elite professional basketball players.
Data were self-reported by team representatives.
A variety of nonstandardized preparticipation screening strategies for the detection of cardiovascular disease, varying considerably in scope, constitute customary practice among professional sports teams.
Harris KM, Sponsel A, Hutter AM, Maron BJ. Brief Communication: Cardiovascular Screening Practices of Major North American Professional Sports Teams. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145:507–511. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-145-7-200610030-00008
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(7):507-511.
Cardiac Diagnosis and Imaging, Cardiology.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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