Table 1

Frequency and Racial Differences for Cardiovascular Causes of Sudden Death in 286 Young Competitive Athletes

Cause of DeathNo. (%) of AthletesM:FAge ± SDWhite No. (%)A-A No. (%)Other No. (%)p Value*
HCM102 (36)99:317.0 ± 2.542 (41)56 (55)4 (4)0.002
Coronary artery anomalies of wrong sinus origin37 (13)28:915.3 ± 2.515 (40)18 (49)4 (11)NS
Indeterminant, possibly HCM29 (10)27:217.9 ± 4.015 (52)12 (41)2 (7)NS
Myocarditis20 (7)16:417.1 ± 3.912 (60)8 (40)0NS
Ruptured aortic aneurysm12 (4)9:318.4 ± 5.18 (67)4 (33)0NS
ARVC11 (4)9:217.0 ± 2.410 (91)1 (9)00.033
Tunnelled coronary artery11 (4)11:016.4 ± 3.08 (73)3 (27)0NS
Aortic valve stenosis10 (3)10:015.4 ± 1.510 (100)000.017
Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease10 (3)9:117.5 ± 3.97 (70)3 (30)0NS
Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy9 (3)8:117.9 ± 1.85 (56)4 (44)0NS
Mitral valve prolapse9 (3)8:118.4 ± 6.55 (56)4 (44)0NS
Coronary artery hypoplasia8 (2)8:018.8 ± 9.17 (88)1 (12)0NS
Other congenital coronary anomalies§8 (2)5:315.6 ± 2.56 (80)2 (20)0NS
Cardiac sarcoidosis3 (1)3:021.3 ± 4.603 (100)0NS
Long QT syndrome3 (1)3:016.7 ± 0.62 (67)1 (33)0NS
Congenital heart disease3 (1)2:114.0 ± 2.33 (100)00NS
Myocardial infarction (etiology unresolved)1 (0.3)1:015.0 ± 0.01 (100)00NS

A-A = African American; ARVC = arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy; F = female; HCM = hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; M = male.

  • * Comparison of the proportion of athletes with each individual cardiovascular abnormality calculated relative to the total number of African American (n = 120) or white athletes (n = 156) who died of heart disease.

  • includes 32 with anomalous left main coronary artery from right (anterior) sinus of Valsalva, and 5 with anomalous right coronary artery from left sinus.

  • hearts with autopsy findings regarded as consistent with HCM, but insufficient to be diagnostic of the disease.

  • § includes origin of left anterior descending coronary artery from pulmonary trunk (n = 1), intussusception associated with hypoplastic left circumflex coronary artery (n = 1), single coronary artery (n = 2), acute angulation of left coronary artery (n = 3), and coronary artery aneurysm (n = 1).

  • includes secundum atrial septal defect (n = 1), coarctation of aorta (n = 1), and double outlet right ventricle (n = 1).