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What Athletes Need to Know About Heart Health

Updated: Mar 23

February is American Heart Month, designed to raise awareness of heart disease, understand risk factors that increase the likelihood of heart disease, and promote lifestyle habits that promote a healthy heart (1, 2).

As an athlete your heart is your powerhouse. Most athletes intentionally live a healthy lifestyle to support their sport and therefore have reduced cardiac risk factors. However, most sudden cardiac death in athletes – an estimated 1 in 100k-300k athletes under 35 and 1 in 15k joggers or 1 in 50k marathoners over 35 (3) – are due to an underlying congenital heart condition or pre-existing heart disease. With detection of these conditions, lives can be saved.

“Just because you run 40 - 50 miles per week doesn’t mean you can’t have a potential cardiac concern”

– Dr. Jonathan Kim, MD, Sports Cardiologist on The More Than Miles Podcast,