New Spanish study reveals that 98.6% of Sudden Cardiac Death seen in athletes are men

New Spanish study reveals that 98.6% of Sudden Cardiac Death seen in athletes are men

A new Spanish study has revealed that 98.6% of Sudden Cardiac Death seen in athletes are men.

A study carried out by the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has found that the majority of sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) seen in athletes particularly affect middle-aged men who play recreational sport.

“Sporting activities have clear benefits for cardiovascular health, and sport cannot be considered life-threatening. Sport-associated sudden death is a rare but catastrophic event with important clinical and social implications. That is why athletes should be screened for silent heart disease before participating in sporting activities,” stated Benito Morentin, head of the Pathology Service of the Basque Institute of Legal Medicine and associate professor of the Department of Medical and Surgical Specialities of the UPV/EHU.

In this study, the largest of its kind in Spain and one of the largest in Europe, 288 forensic post-mortems carried out in 25 provinces between 2010 and 2017 were investigated. Of the cases, 98.6% were male. The incidence was 0.38 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year (0.82 among regular athletes); the majority (54%) were males aged 35-54 years.

The most frequent sports (96% recreational) were cycling (28%), football (18%) and running (17%). Death was of cardiovascular origin in 99%: ischaemic heart disease (63%), cardiomyopathies (21%) and sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (6%).

In young people, cardiomyopathies (38%) and ischaemic heart disease (30%), present from the age of 20, were the most prevalent. The disease had been diagnosed during life in 23 cases; relevant clinical history was observed in 30 cases and cardiovascular risk factors, mainly obesity, in 95 cases. Toxicological analysis detected cardiotoxic substances (alcohol, illicit drugs and psychotropic drugs) in 7%, and the relationship between cannabis and acute ischaemic heart disease is noteworthy, as reported by

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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at


    • Herbert Lichtenwald

      20 April 2022 • 17:56

      it was once a rare thing
      now it occurs abnormally often
      The reason for this is proven to be the Covid lethal injection
      this syringe is used, as predicted by Prince Charles, Bill Gates and others, to reduce humanity and so more people have died from the syringe than actually from Covid and the measures taken

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