Socioeconomic deprivation and racialised disparities in competitive athletes with sudden cardiac arrest from the USA

Megan Nicole Arthur, Randi N. DeLong, Kristen Kucera, Barbara P. Goettsch, Jared Schattenkerk, Sheree Bekker, Jonathan A. Drezner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To explore the association of socioeconomic deprivation and racialised outcomes in competitive athletes with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the USA. 

Methods: SCA cases from the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research (July 2014 to June 2021) were included. We matched Area Deprivation Index (ADI) scores (17 metrics to grade socioeconomic conditions) to the 9-digit zip codes for each athlete's home address. ADI is scored 1-100 with higher scores indicating greater neighbourhood socioeconomic deprivation. Analysis of variance was used to assess differences in mean ADI by racial groups. Tukey post hoc testing was used for pairwise comparisons. 

Results: 391 cases of SCA in competitive athletes (85.4% male; 16.9% collegiate, 68% high school, 10.7% middle school, 4.3% youth) were identified via active surveillance. 79 cases were excluded due to missing data (19 race, 60 ADI). Of 312 cases with complete data, 171 (54.8%) were white, 110 (35.3%) black and 31 (9.9%) other race. The mean ADI was 40.20 (95% CI 36.64, 43.86) in white athletes, 57.88 (95% CI 52.65, 63.11) in black athletes and 40.77 (95% CI 30.69, 50.86) in other race athletes. Mean ADI was higher in black versus white athletes (mean difference 17.68, 95% CI 10.25, 25.12; p=0.0036) and black versus other race athletes (mean difference 17.11, 95% CI 4.74, 29.47; p<0.0001). 

Conclusions: Black athletes with SCA come from areas with higher neighbourhood socioeconomic deprivation than white or other race athletes with SCA. Our findings suggest that socioeconomic deprivation may be associated with racialised disparities in athletes with SCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-499
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number9
Early online date27 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

Data Availability Statement

Data are available upon reasonable request within ethics approval.


  • Athletes
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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