Preface| Volume 41, ISSUE 1, Pxi, February 2023

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Sports Cardiology: Athlete Risk Identification, Assessment, and Risk Mitigation

      Cardiovascular causes account for most sports-related deaths, especially in young athletes. Causes of sudden cardiac arrest are heterogeneous and associated with a spectrum of cardiovascular diseases. Most cases are associated with congenital or acquired cardiac abnormalities, with most events in individuals that had not been previously detected. The field of sports and exercise cardiology continues to evolve to encompass the burgeoning number of people who are physically active, including tactical athletes, and those with cardiovascular diseases or risk factors. Sports Cardiologists are tasked to work with other sports medicine providers to identify those at risk, manage those with known cardiovascular risk factors, and develop methods for prevention of sudden cardiac arrest. Development of preparticipation evaluations for all prospective athletes and for individuals at risk for or with known cardiac disease has been employed to mitigate risk. Currently, there are numerous national and international guidelines and clinical tools available to help physicians provide cardiovascular care for their athletic patients. These resources address preparticipation screening (primary prevention) recommendations and tools to identify athletes at possible increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest; secondary evaluation for suspected cardiovascular conditions; and management, participation eligibility criteria, and return to play for individuals with known cardiovascular conditions. Some of those recommendations are in need of an update. As we see continued focus on the role of the Sports Cardiologist as a valued member of the athlete’s medical team, we see research following this growth. The accompanying articles update readers on state-of-the-art issues that are germane to the practicing Sports Cardiologist.