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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2008 March;61(1):45-55

language: English, Italian

The usefulness of a basal electrocardiogram in the certification of good health for non-competitive sporting physical activity

Casasco M. 1, 3, Biffi A. 2, Campagna S. 1, 3, Gheza A. 1, 3, Maifredi G. 1, Bianchi G. 1

1 Panathleticon Medicina dello Sport, Brescia, Italia
2 Istituto di Medicina dello Sport,Coni, Roma, Italia
3 Scuola di Specializzazione di Medicina dello Sport, Università di Brescia, Brescia, Italia


The Authors examined the electrocardiographic (ECG) traces of 6 387 children and pre-adolescents undergoing examination for the issuing of the “good health” certificate (Ministerial Decree of 28/02/1983) for admission to non-competitive sporting activities or for the medical certification for leisure sporting activities.
The use of a basal ECG enabled detection of some otherwise undiagnosed cardiac pathologies in 3.3% of cases: Wolf-Parkinson-White; interventricular defects; ventricular extrasystole; atrioventricular conduction disturbances; and long QT syndrome in a family.
Although the incidence of such pathologies was not high, as it was a presumably healthy population, the ECG traces enabled detection of significant pathological situations in asymptomatic subjects, and/or permitted clarification of anamnestic information that could not be objectively determined by medical examination alone.
The evaluation of this percentage is, however, quite important as it highlights the usefulness of the “good health” certificate or of preventive examination if one considers that it relates solely to cardiological issues and does not consider all the other pathologies that come to light during this examination, which constitutes the first preventive screening in the Italian National Health Service.

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