Joseph C. Marek, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Dr. Marek is affiliated with the Young Hearts for Life screening program for high school students. Young Hearts for Life is a 501(c)(3) public charity from which Dr. Marek receives no financial compensation.
Marek J.; Electrocardiography and Preparticipation Screening of Competitive High School Athletes. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:131-132. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-2-201007200-00014
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(2):131-132.
TO THE EDITOR:
I read with interest Maron's recent editorial (1) but take issue with several of his assertions. My arguments are based on my experience with screenings in a multicounty region in suburban Chicago. Since 2006, our program, Young Hearts for Life, has screened more than 45 000 high school students.
First, I believe that Maron's efforts to relate the Italian system to the U.S. system are flawed. He contends that the disparity in physician resources between Italy and the United States is dramatic. The absolute number of athletes in the United States is larger than that of Italy, but as a percentage of the population, U.S. athletes number about half that of Italy (5% in the United States vs. 10% in Italy) (1). The number of primary care physicians per capita is similar at 1 per 1000 persons in the United States versus 0.9 per 1000 persons in Italy (2). Besides, the American Heart Association (AHA) already recommends that all young adult athletes be seen by a physician (3).
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