The Mixed Race Athlete’s ECG: Not So Black And White

The Mixed Race Athlete’s ECG: Not So Black And White

Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume 69, Issue 11, Supplement
pages 1416
DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(17)34805-2

Aneil Malhotra, Prashant Rao, Harshil Dhutia, Sabiha Gati, Tee Joo Yeo, Rajit Khosla, Vivek Prasad, Michael Papadakis, Sanjay Sharma
St. George’s University of London, London, United Kingdom

Non Invasive Imaging (Echocardiography, Nuclear, PET, MR and CT)

  • Background: The past 2 decades has seen a huge rise in the number of mixed race athletes with one white and one black parent. In fact this is the largest growing ethnic group in both the USA and UK. Little is known on the mixed race athlete’s EKG. This is the first study to analyse the EKGs of mixed race athletes (MAs) and compare them to white (WAs) and black (BAs) athletes.
  • Methods: The EKGs of 300 MAs professional soccer players were compared to 1,000 BA and 1,000 WA soccer players all of whom underwent mandatory preparticipation screening with EKG. All MAs had one white and one black parent. EKG characteristics were analysed independently by 2 cardiologists.
  • Results: The mean age of all athletes was 16.7 years. 95% were male. MAs had a higher prevalence of bradycardia (67%) vs. both WAs (44%) and BAs (46%; table 1). MAs had more left ventricular hypertrophy (30%) vs. BAs (17%). MAs revealed more atrial enlargement and left axis deviation than WAs, but not BAs. T wave inversion (TWI) was 4 times more common in MAs (8%) than WAs (2.3%) though less common than BAs (10.9%).
  • Conclusions: MAs demonstrate EKG changes similar to black athletes in terms of atrial enlargement and axis deviation which are borderline variants according to the refined criteria for EKG interpretation in athletes. MAs demonstrated a higher prevalence of TWI in all territories vs. WAs, though less than BAs. Mixed race athletes do indeed exhibit a “mixed” pattern of EKG characteristics though these tend to be more similar to black athletes’ EKG than white athletes.

Read the entire poster here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,