Approximately 1 in every 44,000 thousand athletes in the USA dies from sudden cardiac death in the USA each year, a significantly higher rate than previously thought, Kimberly Harmon, M.D. explained in the journal Circulation. Harmon believes their team's finding may have an impact on health screening guidelines for young people in organized sports.

Among athletes with underlying heart disease, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sports training and competitive events can significantly increase the chances of sudden cardiac death, according to the American Heart Association.

Dr. Kimberly Harmon, of University of Washington, explains that sudden cardiac death estimates among athletes have been based on tenuous data sources, such as media reports. Other sources, including some studies, do not have reliable figures regarding how many people practice sports in general in the USA.

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