Sports-related sudden cardiac arrest is rare in older adults

Study: Older adults who experience sudden cardiac arrest during or following exercise tend to have better health than those whose sudden cardiac arrest is not triggered by exercise

The annual incidence of sports-related sudden cardiac arrest in older adults is rare: 2 to 3 cases per 100,000 people.

Of the 4,078 total sudden cardiac arrest cases studied in people 65 and older, 77 (1.9%) occurred during or following an exercise activity, such as cycling, gym workout, running, or playing golf or tennis. Most of the cardiac arrests occurred in men (91%). 

Photo by Barbara Olsen on

Investigators also analyzed medical records, which were available for 47 people with sports-related cardiac arrest and 3,162 for people with non-sports-related cardiac arrest. This analysis revealed that people who experienced sudden cardiac arrest during or shortly after exercise were more likely to have fewer cardiovascular risk factors and other health issues than people who did not experience exercise-related sudden cardiac arrest. 

People who experienced sports-related cardiac arrest were also more likely to experience it in a public location, which contributed to being four times more likely to survive than those who experienced a non-sports-related cardiac arrest. 

1 Comment

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One response to “Sports-related sudden cardiac arrest is rare in older adults

  1. garrystafford

    Man that’s a brain twister. Seems counterintuitive. Or maybe I just don’t understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

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