Electrocardiogram in the Pre-Exercise Evaluation of Children and Adolescents

Maíra Pradelli, Vital Agência, Assistente de Redação, Araraquara, SP, Brasil.

Logo do periódico International Journal of Cardiovascular SciencesResults from the evaluation of 983 participants, presented in the article Electrocardiogram as Part of the Evaluation of Children and Adolescents Before Starting Physical Exercise, published in the International Journal of Cardiovascular Sciences, vol. 36 (2023), shed light on the cardiac health of asymptomatic children and adolescents prior to their involvement in physical activities.

The research revealed that, despite the absence of personal or family history of heart disease, 3.3% of the participants exhibited cardiac alterations that were detected exclusively through electrocardiogram (ECG).

Results underscore the fundamental importance of ECG in the pre-participation screening process, providing crucial information for the early detection of potential risks and ensuring safer engagement in physical activities. The inclusion of ECG in pre-activity evaluations is widely recommended by renowned medical societies, such as the European Society of Cardiology, the Brazilian Society of Cardiology, and the Brazilian Society of Sports Medicine.

Photo of a person lying on a hospital bed. He has no shirt and electrodes attached to his body. Next to the stretcher, an electrocardiograph producing a paper with the patient's heartbeat.

Image: ShutterStock.

The study utilized anthropometric assessments, clinical examinations, and conventional ECGs in 983 children and adolescents who practiced physical activities.

By identifying these cardiac alterations in young individuals, appropriate preventive measures can be implemented, reducing the risk of adverse cardiac events, including sudden cardiac death. These findings further strengthen the recommendations of the aforementioned medical societies, advocating for the essential inclusion of ECG in pre-activity evaluations for children and adolescents.

A comprehensive, evidence-based approach is necessary for evaluating the cardiac health of young individuals before engaging in physical activities. This research highlights the importance of healthcare professionals, physical educators, and families being aware of the relevance of ECG in the early identification of potential cardiac issues in children and adolescents, contributing to a safer and healthier sports environment.


MYERBURG, R.J. and VETTER, V.L. Should an electrocardiogram be included in routine participation screening of young athletes? Circulation [online]. 2007, vol. 116, no. 22, p. 2616-2626 [viewed 28 July 2023]. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.733519. Available from: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.733519

To read the article, access

SILVA, D.L.M., et al. Electrocardiogram as Part of the Evaluation of Children and Adolescents Before Starting Physical Exercise. Int. J. Cardiovasc. [online]. 2023, vol. 36, e20220052 [viewed 28 July 2023]. https://doi.org/10.36660/ijcs.20220052. Available from: https://www.scielo.br/j/ijcs/a/XsKRf4WWSnBjxnYnFD5CVKK/

External links

International Journal of Cardiovascular Sciences – IJCS: https://www.scielo.br/j/ijcs/

International Journal of Cardiovascular Sciences: https://ijcscardiol.org/

Sociedade Brasileira de Cardiologia: https://www.portal.cardiol.br/


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

PRADELLI, M. Electrocardiogram in the Pre-Exercise Evaluation of Children and Adolescents [online]. SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases, 2023 [viewed ]. Available from: https://pressreleases.scielo.org/en/2023/07/28/electrocardiogram-in-the-pre-exercise-evaluation-of-children-and-adolescents/


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