Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Screening young people to prevent sudden death debate

Analysis authors reply to Response by Corrado and colleagues

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 23 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4509
  1. Hans Van Brabandt, researcher1,
  2. Anja Desomer, researcher1,
  3. Sophie Gerkens, economist1,
  4. Mattias Neyt, health economist1
  1. 1Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE), Brussels, Belgium
  1. hans.vanbrabandt{at}

We read with interest the comments from Corrado and colleagues on our paper related to pre-participation screening in young athletes.1 2

The authors start their critique by suggesting that we are laypersons in the field of sports cardiology. The first author of our paper is a cardiologist with 30 years’ clinical experience. We are all active in critically appraising scientific literature and/or teaching evidence based medicine on a daily, professional basis. We may not be directly involved in sports cardiology, but the absence of conflicts of interest helps in being neutral when assessing scientific evidence.

Furthermore, our manuscript has been peer reviewed through our submission to The BMJ by three renowned sports cardiologists from the UK, the US, and Australia. And the report from which our paper was extracted had been reviewed previously by independent Belgian and Dutch experts.3

More recently, two updated recommendations on pre-participation screening have been published, both from trusted sources. The UK National Screening Committee’s recommendation on screening to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) in 12-39 year olds, published in July 2015, is clear: “Systematic population screening programme is not recommended.”4 In December 2015 the …

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