Efficacy of pre-participation cardiac evaluation recommendations among athletes participating in World Athletics Championships

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Athletes competing in athletics (track and field) at international level may be participating with underlying undiagnosed life-threatening cardiovascular conditions. Our objective was to analyse variations in pre-participation cardiac evaluation prevalence among athletes participating in two International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Championships, with regard to the human developmental level and global region of their home countries, as well as athletes' age category, gender, event group and medical insurance type. Design Cross-sectional web-based survey. Methods A total of 1785 athletes competing in the IAAF World Under 18 Championships Nairobi 2017 and World Championships London 2017 were invited to complete a pre-participation health questionnaire investigating the experience of a pre-participation cardiac examination.ResultsA total of 704 (39%) of the athletes participated. Among these, 59% (60% of women; 58% of men) reported that they had been provided at least one type of pre-participation cardiac evaluation. Athletes from very high income countries, Europe and Asia, showed a higher prevalence of at least one pre-participation cardiac evaluation. Conclusions The prevalence of pre-participation cardiac evaluation in low to middle income countries, and the African continent in particular, needs urgent attention. Furthermore, increases in evaluation prevalence should be accompanied by the development of cost-effective methods that can be adopted in all global regions.


  • Örjan Dahlström
  • Paolo Emilio Adami
  • Kristina Fagher
  • Jenny Jacobsson
  • Victor Bargoria
  • Håkan Gauffin
  • Per-Olof Hansson
  • Christer Andersson
  • Stéphane Bermon
  • Toomas Timpka
External organisations
  • Foro Italico University of Rome
  • Linköping University
  • University of Côte d'Azur
  • International Association of Atheletics Federations (IAAF)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sport and Fitness Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1490
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number14
Early online date2019 Oct 24
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep 1
Publication categoryResearch