Sudden death amongst people practicing competitive sports (Review Article)

Bartłomiej Wrzesiński, Edyta Piechocka, Grzegorz Duda, Paweł Wojtczak



Sudden cardiac death is and unexpected cardiac arrest that may occur both during exercise and also an hour after its completion. It most often occurs in young sportsmen under 35 years of age and is usually associated with improperly performed physical activity proceeded by lack of specialized medical examination and research. Natural and cardiac causes are two basic phenomena that lead to cardiac death. As confirmed by Framingham Heart Study, conducted in the eighties of the twentieth century on the population of Americans, natural causes accounted for 13% while cardiac causes accounted for 88% off all. The statistics of the largest centers of sport medicine are presented as follows: Germany – 1 death per 200,000 people practicing sports (total) while United States of America – 1 death per 80,000 people per year. The problem of of sudden deaths is and important topic worthy of a broader and more specific analysis. It should be noted that physical exertion is not is not a direct cause of sudden deaths. Currently the most research concerns professional athletes who have extensive support and knowledge about the exercise they perform. The main problem concerning subject of sudden deaths are not diagnosed hearth defects. <> Additional topic of interest is rarity of medical tests performed by amateur athletes and athletes at the lower levels of competition. Such athletes do not  have as extensive knowledge as their experienced idols, which may bring tragic consequences.


sudden death; improper physical activity; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; athletes; competitive sports; amateur sports

Full Text:



Klukowski K. [Medycyna Sportowa]. Warszawa: Medical Tribune; 2011 (in Polish).

Burduk P. Śliwka K, Bloch-Bogusławska E, Burduk PK. [Nagła śmierć a wysiłek fizyczny]. Arch Med Sąd Krym. 1998;XLVIII: 127-133 (in Polish).

Maron B.J, Shirani J, Poliac L.C, Mathenge R, Roberts W.C, Mueller F.O. [Sudden death in young competitive athletes]. Clinical, demographic, and pathological profiles. JAMA 1996;276:199-204.

Noronha S. V, Shorma S, Papadakis M, Desai S, Whyte G, Sheppard M. N, [Etiology of sudden cardiac death in athletes in the United Kingdom a pathological study]. Heart 2009, 95: 1409-1414.

Corrado D, Basso C, Schiavon M, Thiene G, [Does activity enhance the risk of sudden cardiac death]. Italian Federation of Cardiology, 228-233s, 2006.

D'Silva A, Papadakis M, [Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes]. Rodcliffe Cardiology; 2015, 10(1); 48-53s.

D'Silva A, Shorma S,[Exercise the Athlete's Heart and Sudden Cardiac Death]. The Physician and sportsmedicine; 2014, 42(2).

Świerkosz Sz, Nowak Z, Pacyna A, [The most common causes of sudden cardiac death in athlete]. Fizjoterapia 2015, 23(4), 55-65(in Polish).

Mark S, Link M.S, Mark Estes N.A, [Sudden Cardiac death in the Athlete]. Prog. Cardiovasc Dis 2008, Jul-Aug 51(1) 44-57(in Polish).

Wojtasik W, Szulc A, Kołodziejczyk M, Szulc A[Wybrane zagadnienia dotyczące wysiłku fizycznego na organizm człowieka]. Journal of Education, Health and Sport; 2015, 5(10), 350-372s.(in Polish).

Kenny A, Shapro L.M, Sudden Cardiac death in athletes, Br Med Bull 1992, Jul; 48(3); 534-45(in Polish).

Garcia-Gonzales C, Albaladejo R, Villa. R, Naiarro E [Determining factors of sport injuries in amatour sports in Spain] European Journal of Human Movement; 2017, 33, 137-151s.

Wrzosek K, Mamcarz A, Braksator W, [Wybrane problemy kardiologii sportowej]

Choroby serca i naczyń 2005, 2(4), 179-186s (in Polish).

Krenc Z, [Adaptacyjny przerost lewej komory czy kardiomiopatia przerostowa] Choroby serca i naczyń; 2015, 12(1); 25-34 (in Polish).

Barry J, Maron MD, Tammy S, Mans RN, Caleb J.M, Ahluwalia A, Rutten-Ramos S, [Incidence and causes of sudden cardiac death in U.S. Collage Athletes]. Journal of the American college of cardiology 2014, 63(16).

Maron B J, Haast S, Ahluwalia A, Ruttan-Ramos S C, [Incidence of cardiovascular sudden deaths in Minnesota high school athletes], Heart Rhythm Society, 2013: 10(3): 374- 377.

Camp V, Bloor CM, Mueller FO, Cantu RC, Olson HG,[ Nontraumatic sports death in high school and college athlete]. Medicine and Science in sports and exercise 27(5), 1995.

Waller B. F, Hawley D. A, Clark M. A, Pless J. E, [Incidence of sudden Athletic Death's Between 1985-1990 in Marion Country, Indiana, Clin. Cardiol]. 15, 851-858 (1992).

Fornes P, Lecomte D, [Pathology of Sudden Death During Recreational Sports Activity]. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 24(1) 9-16, 2003.

Holst A G, Winkel B G, Theilade J, Kristensen J B, Thomsen J L, Ottesen G L, Svencksen J H, Haunso S, Prescott E, Tfelt-Hansen J, [Incidence and etiology of sports- related sudden cardiac death in Denmark- Implications for preparticipation screening]. Heart Rhythm 2010: 7(10),. 1365-1371s.

Marijon E, Tafflet M, Celermajer D S, Dumas F, Perier M-C, Mustafic H, Toussaint J-F, Desnos M, Rieu M, Benameur N, Storts [Related Sudden Death in the General Population]. Univ of ulster at coleraine, 2015, 672-681s.

Solberg E. E, Gjertsen F, Haugstad E, Kolsrud L, [Sudden death in sports among young adults in Norway]. European Society of cardiology, 2010, 17, 337-341s.

Suarez-Meir M P, Aguilera B, Rosario M, Mosquera M, Soledad Sanches-de-Leon, [Pathology of Sudden death during recreational sports in Spain]. Forensic Science International 226( 2013) 188-196.

Tabib A, Mirast A, Taniere P, Loire R, [Undetected cardiac lesions cause unexpected sudden cardiac death during occasional sport activity]. European Heart Journal (1999) 20, 900-903.

Reindell H. Das sportherz, geschichlicheEntwichlung und neueAspekte. W: Rost R., Webbering F. (red) Kardiologieim Sport. Deutsche ArtzeVerlag, Koln, 1987.

Slattery ML, Jacobs DR Jr, Nichaman [MZLeisure time physical activity and coronary heart disease death]. The US Railroad Study. Circulation. 1989 Feb. 304-11.

Basavarajaiah S, Shah A. And Sharma S. [Suddencardiac death in young athletes]. Heart 2007, Mar; 93(3): 287-289.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

The journal has had 5 points in Ministry of Science and Higher Education parametric evaluation. § 8. 2) and § 12. 1. 2) 22.02.2019. Zgodnie z Rozporządzeniem ministra nauki i szkolnictwa wyższego z dnia 22 lutego 2019 r. w sprawie ewaluacji jakości działalności naukowej (w szczególności art. 12 ust. 1 pkt 1 w zw. z art. 8 pkt 2), czasopismo Pedagogy and Psychology of Sport ewaluowane jest punktacją w wysokości 5 punktów. e-ISSN: 2450-6605 Numer DOI: 10.12775/PPS Indexing: Index Copernicus Master List DOAJ ERIH Plus Polska Bibliografia Naukowa PBN Akademicka Platforma Czasopism Naukowych Google Scholar BASE CrossRef WorldCat Arianta Baidu Scholar J-Gate JournalTOCs Microsoft Academic POL-index

Partnerzy platformy czasopism