Do black athletes face a higher risk of a heart attack while playing sports?

| | June 15, 2017

The recent death of Ivorian footballer Cheick Tiote on the pitch brought an outpouring of sadness in the world of football. This left us asking if there is any evidence to suggest that African players are more likely to die on the pitch than other players....

Restricting himself to the last 10 years, [Robert Mastrodomenico from Global Sports Statistics] found that 64 footballers had died during that period...The analysis suggests that 26 of the 64 players who have died in the last 10 years are from African countries...Therefore, while Africans make up 17% of the world's footballers they account for nearly 40% of the known deaths.


Could African players really be more susceptible to sudden cardiac death?

Professor of cardiology Sanjay Sharma [stated] that evidence from the US shows that sudden cardiac death amongst black basketball players is around three times more common than for white players.


"The precise reasons aren't clear," said Prof Sharma. But he thinks that the evidence he looked at suggests black sports players are more likely to suffer from cardiac arrest because the wall of the left side of the heart seems to thicken more than players of other ethnicities.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Are African footballers more susceptible to heart attacks?


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