After mapping the hearts of 26 Ohio State University athletes using a process known as cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), researchers found that not only 15% of students exhibited the rare heart condition but 30% showed cellular damage.

“Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging has the potential to identify a high-risk cohort for adverse outcomes and may, importantly, risk-stratify athletes for safe participation,” study authors wrote. “Recent studies have raised concerns of myocardial inflammation after recovery from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), even in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients.”

According to researchers, “myocarditis is a significant cause of sudden cardiac death in competitive athletes.”