Salt Lake City, UT, July 29, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Participation in competitive sports by people with SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes) conditions like Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) -- a genetic abnormality in the heart’s electrical system -- has been a matter of debate among physicians for years. Current guidelines disqualify most LQTS patients from almost every sport. In a first-of-its-kind study, Mayo Clinic’s LQTS Clinic recently examined its own experience, determining the outcome of LQTS patients who chose to remain athletes against guideline recommendations. The study is published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the study, the records of 353 LQTS patients ages 6 to 40 who were evaluated at Mayo Clinic between July 2000 and November 2010 were reviewed to determine which patients chose to continue athletic participation after LQTS diagnosis and LQTS-related events.
Of the 157 patients who were athletes at the time of their evaluation, 27 (17 percent) chose to disqualify themselves, “debunking the myth” that families would never choose to quit sports, says senior author Michael Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., pediatric cardiologist and Director of Mayo’s LQTS Clinic and Board President of the SADS Foundation. More importantly, of the 130 patients who chose to remain an athlete, only one experienced a LQTS-triggered event during a sport; the athlete received an appropriate shock from his implantable cardioverter-defibrillator on two separate occasions. For the study, researchers defined a competitive athlete as a person who participated in organized competitive sports at the little league, middle or high school, collegiate or professional level.
“About eight years ago after I started to see some of these lives ruined by the recommendation to discontinue sports, we decided to challenge the status quo,” Dr. Ackerman says. “We adopted a philosophy that empowered patients and their families with the right to make an informed and difficult decision about continuing in competitive sports, a possible LQTS risk-taking behavior.”
For further information on this, and other sports related stories, please visit www.StopSADS.org.
About The SADS Foundation
Formed in 1992, the SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes) Foundation’s mission is to save the lives and support the families of children & young adults who are genetically predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities. We are committed to promoting the early detection and treatment of these conditions throughout the world. The Foundation distributes materials internationally through grass roots efforts in order to teach families, educators and medical professionals about SADS conditions. For more information visit www.StopSADS.org or call .800.STOP-SAD (800.786.7723). Find us on Facebook at www.causes.com/causes/225843 and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SADSFoundation.
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