The cardiac threat coronavirus poses to athletes

Cardiologists are increasingly concerned that coronavirus infections could cause heart complications that lead to sudden cardiac death in athletes.

Why it matters: Even if just a tiny percentage of COVID-19 cases lead to major cardiac conditions, the sheer scope of the pandemic raises the risk for those who regularly conduct the toughest physical activity — including amateurs who might be less aware of the danger…

Worryingly, patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms developed myocarditis as frequently as those who were hospitalized, raising the possibility that those who may not even know they have COVID-19 could be at risk.

That’s important because athletes with myocarditis must cease intense physical activity for weeks or even months until the conditions clears up. Otherwise, says Emory University sports cardiologist Jonathan Kim, they put themselves in danger of “cardiac arrest and a catastrophic outcome.”