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Sports practice is like the Roman God Janus, it has two faces. On the one hand, regular physical activity promotes health and reduces cardiovascular risk factors1. On the other hand, the risk of heart failures is increased during and immediately after exercise2,3. These sports-related cardiac events concern both untrained and well-trained athletes with no previously known cardiac diseases4.

Sports-related sudden cardiac death in the general population is more frequent than often suspected5, 6. However it often occurs in a predictable setting, allowing preventing measures, prompt interventions and improving survival rates.

Aware of the lack of systematic information on sports-related cardiac events in Luxembourg, the SRMCV approached the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory of LIH for the project. This 5-year study was taken up in 2020 by the Fondation Coeur – Daniel Wagner and further developed under the direction of LIROMS. The general aim is to determine the sports-related cardiac event burden in Luxembourg and recommend appropriate risk mitigation strategies.

1 Shephard, R. J., & Balady, G. J. (1999). Exercise as cardiovascular therapy. Circulation, 99(7), 963-972.
2 Albert, C. M., Mittleman, M. A., Chae, C. U., Lee, I. M., Hennekens, C. H., & Manson, J. E. (2000). Triggering of sudden death from cardiac causes by vigorous exertion. N Engl J Med, 343(19), 1355-1361.
3 Siscovick, D. S., Weiss, N. S., Fletcher, R. H., & Lasky, T. (1984). The incidence of primary cardiac arrest during vigorous exercise. N Engl J Med, 311(14), 874-877.
4 Maron, B. J. (2003). Sudden death in young athletes. N Engl J Med, 349(11), 1064-1075.
5 Chevalier, L., Hajjar, M., Douard, H., Cherief, A., Dindard, J. M., Sedze, F., et al. (2009). Sports-related acute cardiovascular events in a general population: a French prospective study. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil, 16(3), 365-370.
6 Marijon, E., Tafflet, M., Celermajer, D. S., Dumas, F., Perier, M. C., Mustafic, H., et al. (2011). Sports-related sudden death in the general population. Circulation, 124(6), 672-681.