By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Sadly, this is the time of the year when we hear about sudden death on the playing field of young athletes. Certainly there are a large number of cases around the country and many are related to an undiagnosed heart condition. But according to research from France, young competitive athletes account for only a fraction sports-related cardiac arrest. That’s where the heart stops beating without warning.

In the French study of 820 total cardiac arrests, 50 occurred in younger athletes aged 10 to 35. The young athletes on average suffered cardiac arrest at a higher rate than the population in general. But more than 90% of cardiac arrest happened during recreational sports like biking or running.

The message here is that all adolescents should be getting regular physical examinations to try and anticipate problems with the realization that it just doesn’t have to be organized sports for the problems occur.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio

Dr. Brian McDonough