Sudden Death in Athletes


4.6 out of 5 (351 Reviews)



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Start Date

1 Sep 2023

Last Review Date

1 Sep 2023

Expiration Date

31 Aug 2026

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

Sudden death in athletes has been a tragic occurrence in the fields of sports medicine, cardiology, primary care, and pediatrics. By far, the most common cause of unexpected death for a younger athlete on the competitive field is cardiac illness, usually that of congenital etiology. However, the use of anabolic steroids, peptide hormones, and stimulants has led to the emergence of acquired heart disease in younger and middle-aged athletes. In contrast, sudden death in an older athlete is typically due to atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. This activity describes the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of structural and nonstructural causes of sudden cardiac death in athletes and stresses the role of team-based interprofessional care for affected patients.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician associates, nurses, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Explain the onset of the cardiac problems that may precede sudden cardiac death.
  • Describe the sports clearance physical exam and what findings might prompt the consideration of a condition putting the individual at risk for sudden cardiac death.
  • Describe the management of the various cardiac etiologies that lead to sudden death in athletes.
  • Examine interprofessional team strategies for improving care coordination and communication to prevent missed opportunities to diagnose and treat patients at risk for sudden cardiac death.


StatPearls, LLC requires everyone who influences the content of an educational activity to disclose relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies that have occurred within the past 24 months. Ineligible companies are organizations whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. All relevant conflict(s) of interest have been mitigated. Hover over contributor names for financial disclosures. Others involved in planning this educational activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Commercial Support: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, StatPearls, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Physicians and Physician Associates: StatPearls, LLC designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians and PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

American Board of Internal Medicine: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.00 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

American Board of Pathology: Successful completion of this Continuing Certification activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.00 Lifelong Learning (CME) credits in the American Board of Pathology’s Continuing Certification Program.

American Board of Pediatrics: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the learner to earn up to 1.00 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics’ (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit learner completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABP MOC credit.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Through an agreement between the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, medical practitioners participating in the Royal College MOC Program may record completion of accredited activities registered under the ACCME’s “CME in Support of MOC” program in Section 3 of the Royal College’s MOC Program.

Please consult your professional licensing board for information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity.

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  1. Register for the activity.    
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content of the enduring material.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment survey.

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This educational activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the FDA. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on StatPearls expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

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Cancellation Policy: Please see the cancellation policy. StatPearls, LLC reserves the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances.




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Good information.

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I should take some advanced care classes.

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Good course

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Only thing was that I wasn't able to find anything for EMS. Although I did take away critical information from this training, I think it may have been a little geared to nursing and physician staff.

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Request for more cne free topics

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thank you

Terrence P. on 1/30/2023

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alysha e. on 1/30/2023

People practice sport to have better QoL, so they deserve good cares and attention to avoid sudden death.

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Thank you.

Sheila G. on 2/3/2023

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Miwako O. on 2/3/2023

very biased research on this topic, almost cherry picked to mold thinking.

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Excellent Activity

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Thank yoy

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Excellent discussion of this topic

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Currently retired

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Complicated subject!!

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none, great

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