International heart and sports medicine experts have called for a Europe-wide cardiovascular screening programme for all young athletes before they are allowed to take part in competitive athletics.
The aim is to pick up potentially life-threatening problems that put young athletes at risk and to cut the numbers collapsing and dying while participating in competitive sport.
A European Society of Cardiology consensus report published (Wednesday 2 February) in Europes leading cardiology journal, the European Heart Journal, recommends that every young athlete involved in organised sport has a rigorous physical examination, a detailed investigation of their personal and family medical history and, most importantly, a 12-lead ECG. The reports writers believe that screening using ECG has the potential to cut sports-related cardiac deaths in Europe by 50%-70% if it can be implemented in every country.
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