Cardiovascular Screening in Young Athletes in Sarajevo Canton
Potential risk of sudden death during sports participation makes screening of competitive athletes of vital importance. Congenital cardiac anomalies and non-atherosclerotic, acquired myocardial conditions are primary causes underlying exercise-induced cardiac death in young patients. Since cardiovascular conditions are the leading causes of non-traumatic, exercise-induced cardiac events, cardiovascular screening preceding sports participation in mandatory. The objectives of this study were to determine prevalence of cardiac conditions through cardiovascular screening of young athletes and to establish preventive strategy. The study was conducted at the Sports Medicine Center of Sarajevo Canton and at the Pediatric Clinic of University of Sarajevo Clinics Centre in the period 2007-2009. The study was supported by Canton Sarajevo Ministry of Health and Ministry of sports, science and culture. The study targeted a group of 214 athletes, 8-18 years of age with average age being 15,26. The group was subdivided into five groups according to the age. After taking the anamnesis (family, personal and cardiological) patients were subjected to the measuring of body mass and height, blood pressure and heart rate and oxygen saturation, recording of 12-lead ECG, specialist examination (pediatrician, sports medicine specialist and cardiologist) and complete heart echocardiography. No examined athletes expressed subjective discomfort. Congenital cardiac anomalies were not diagnosed in any athlete. Also, cardiovascular abnormalities requiring additional evaluation, positive cardiac anamnesis, abnormal auscultatory findings, hypertension or abnormal ECG findings were not recognized in any patient. Moderate correlation was found among the left ventricle mass and heart rate (p<0,05). In order to minimalize or even possibly prevent the risk of sudden cardiac death it is necessary to establish an adequate strategy of cardiovascular screening of young athletes.