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Sports-Related Sudden Cardiac Arrest Incidence Discrepancy Between Genders


Core Concepts
Sports-related sudden cardiac arrest is significantly less common in women compared to men.
Abstract
The content discusses the rarity of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest (Sr-SCA) in women compared to men based on data from European registries. Key points include: Incidence of Sr-SCA significantly lower in women than men. Study suggests risk-adapted screening for women. Majority of Sr-SCA cases occur in men. Women more likely to have Sr-SCA during light or moderate physical activity. Similar average age of Sr-SCA between men and women. Different prevalence of heart disease conditions between genders. Witness presence and assistance in most Sr-SCA cases. Questions raised about pre-sport screening methods for women. Debate on the value of preparticipation screening beyond history and physical examination. Recommendations for cardiovascular risk factor screening in routine primary care.
Stats
The average annual incidence of Sr-SCA in women was 0.19 per million compared with 2.63 per million in men (P < .0001). The incidence of Sr-SCA increased only slightly in postmenopausal women, while there was an 8-fold increase in men aged 60 to 74 years, relative to peers younger than 40 years. Pulseless electrical activity and asystole were more common in women than in men (40.7% vs 19.1%).
Quotes
"Our study shows that cardiac arrest during sports activities is up to 13 times less frequent in women, which means that the risk of sports-related cardiac arrest is substantially lower in women than in men." - Orianne Weizman, MD, MPH

Key Insights Distilled From

by Megan Brooks at www.medscape.com 03-22-2023

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/990025
Sports-Related Sudden Cardiac Arrest 'Extremely' Rare in Women

Deeper Inquiries

What factors contribute to the significantly lower incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest in women compared to men

The significantly lower incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest (Sr-SCA) in women compared to men can be attributed to several factors. One key factor is the difference in cardiovascular risk factors between men and women. While both genders may have similar characteristics and circumstances of occurrence, women tend to have a lower prevalence of certain risk factors associated with cardiac events during physical activity. Additionally, hormonal differences, such as estrogen's protective effects on the cardiovascular system, may play a role in reducing the risk of Sr-SCA in women. Furthermore, differences in the types of sports and intensity levels at which men and women engage in physical activity could also contribute to the lower incidence of Sr-SCA in women.

Should preparticipation screening methods be revised based on the gender-specific risk of cardiac events during sports activities

The study's findings suggest that preparticipation screening methods may need to be revised based on the gender-specific risk of cardiac events during sports activities. Given the significantly lower incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest in women, extensive and routinely conducted screening in women may not be cost-effective. Instead, there is a suggestion for tailor-made screening algorithms that take into account specific activities and sports that may pose a higher risk for women. This targeted approach to screening could help optimize resources and focus on identifying potential risk factors that are more relevant to women participating in sports.

How can the findings of this study impact the current guidelines on cardiovascular risk factor screening in routine primary care

The findings of this study could have implications for the current guidelines on cardiovascular risk factor screening in routine primary care. The study highlights the importance of considering gender-specific differences in the risk of cardiac events during physical activity. As a result, guidelines may need to be updated to reflect the lower incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest in women compared to men. Screening protocols in primary care settings could potentially be tailored to account for these gender differences, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently and interventions are targeted towards the most relevant risk factors for each gender. This personalized approach to screening could lead to more effective identification and management of cardiovascular risk factors in both men and women.
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