10th October 2018


British Athletics have partnered up with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) to perform heart screening on all world class programme and performance pathway athletes next week in London.

Every week in the UK, at least 12 young people die from undiagnosed heart conditions and many incredibly fit athletes have tragically died due to heart problems which have no prior symptoms.

Most cardiac abnormalities can be detected with a simple electrocardiogram (ECG) test. For extra clarity an Echocardiogram (ultrasound scan) is sometimes also be done.

The screening will take place at Lee Valley on Wednesday 17th October, with another to follow at Loughborough’s National Performance Institute (NPI) in November (date TBC).

In 80% of cases of a young sudden cardiac death, no prior symptoms have shown. The frequency of such cases can be reduced by making heart screening available to young people aged 14 – 35.

The screening comprises firstly of a health questionnaire, checking for any of the fundamental symptoms of heart problems and a family history of cardiac problems.

This is followed by a 12-lead ECG, which looks specifically for electrical faults in the heart and look for symptoms of cardiomyopathy, a condition that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood around the body.

In many situations, the individual can be reassured on the spot there are no underlying symptoms.

British Athletics Chief Medical Officer Dr Noel Pollock explained why the tests are so important for athletes.

“We are very pleased with the level of engagement and interest from athletes in undertaking this important screening. Though these conditions are rare, it is important to raise awareness and detect abnormalities that may pose a risk to athlete’s health.

“We are thankful for the excellent service provided by CRY and look forward to welcoming them to London Lee Valley Athletics Centre and our National Performance Institute in Loughborough later in the month.”

The next CRY screening will take place in November in Loughborough (date TBC) and athletes from across the British Athletics world class performance programmes and performance pathways are encouraged to sign up for a screening.

Athletes can find out more information on the upcoming session in Loughborough by emailing sthorsen@britishathletics.org.uk and for more information on CRY screening, click here.