Cardiac Screening To Mitigate The Risk Of Sudden Cardiac Death In Middle Eastern And African Competitive Athletes. A Systematic Review
Hallak, Yusuf Omar
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Objective: The study aims to review the literature regarding abnormalities predisposing to Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) in young Middle Eastern and African competitive athletes between the years 2009e2019 and aims to assess cardiac pre-participation screening methods. Methods: A PubMed search was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The search targeted articles that reported the prevalence of cardiac abnormalities found in Middle Eastern and African athletes, and it also focused on comparing cardiac screening methods for assessment of athletes. Results: our studies fell within the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. Results identified a shortage in the literature regarding prevalence rates of SCD in the Middle East and Africa. Additionally, there seems to be a lack of ethnicity-specific cardiac pre-participation screening programs in the region. Nevertheless, the prevalence of SCDrelated abnormalities (HCM, ARVC, etc …) ranged from 0.47 to 4.29%. Included studies conveyed only male athletes with no reports on the female athletic population. Conclusion: The present study highlights a need to develop an efficient cardiac pre-participation screening program specific to Arab and African athletes due to their high false-positive rates in contrast to Caucasian athletes. Significant evidence proves that an adequate cardiac screening program can prevent SCD in young competitive athletes. Therefore, it is imperative that future studies highlight the prevalence of abnormalities directly related to SCD in order to create a valid screening program that can be implemented in the region to mitigate the risk of shocking events.