Author + information
- Received March 26, 2008
- Revision received June 5, 2008
- Accepted June 6, 2008
- Published online December 9, 2008.
- Domenico Corrado, MD, PhD⁎,⁎ (, )
- Cristina Basso, MD, PhD†,
- Maurizio Schiavon, MD‡,
- Antonio Pelliccia, MD§ and
- Gaetano Thiene, MD†
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Domenico Corrado, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua Medical School, Via Giustiniani, 2-35121 Padova, Italy
In 1982 a nationwide program of pre-participation screening including 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG) was launched in Italy. The aim of this article is to examine whether this 25-year screening program should be considered a valid and advisable public health strategy. The analysis of data coming from the long-running Italian experience indicates that ECG screening has provided adequate sensitivity and specificity for detection of potentially lethal cardiomyopathy or arrhythmias and has led to substantial reduction of mortality of young competitive athletes by approximately 90%. Screening was feasible thanks to the Italian Health System, which is developed in terms of health care and prevention services, and because of the limited costs of cardiovascular evaluation in the setting of a mass program. On the basis of current scientific evidence the implementation of a mass-screening program aimed to prevent athletic-field sudden cardiac death should be at least carefully considered by public health administrators worldwide.
This work was supported by the Ministry of Health, Rome; Fondazione Cariparo, Padova and Rovigo; and Registry of Cardio-cerebro-vascular Pathology, Veneto Region, Venice, Italy.
- Received March 26, 2008.
- Revision received June 5, 2008.
- Accepted June 6, 2008.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
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