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25 April 2017 | in Summer Universiade, FISU

Check-Up Your Heart Program: Data presentation

Check Up your heart program

FISU Data Presentation at American College of Cardiology Annual Meeting


On 17 March 2017, Dr. Lawrence Rink, former FISU Medical Committee Chair, and Dr. Michael Emery, presented data collected by FISU from the Check-Up Your Heart Program at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.  This information was viewed by thousands of experts in the field of Cardiology and Sports Medicine. At the Kazan 2013 Summer Universiade (RUS), FISU started the Check-Up Your Heart Program. It was designed to be the largest cardiovascular screening of elite student athletes in the World.  1,200 of the 10,000 elite university athletes present at the Summer Universiade were screened.  At the Gwangju 2015  Summer Universiade (KOR), 1,500 of the 10,000 elite university athletes underwent cardiovascular screening.  The FISU Executive and Medical Committees designed this program with the following goals:


  1. A service to the student-athletes allowing them a no cost, very thorough cardiovascular screening examination.
  2. Study the athlete’s heart and collect information that will allow athletes to know if they have cardiovascular issues that may impair their peak performance or place them at risk of sudden death in an effort to decrease sudden death in athletes.


The screening program includes the following aspects:

  1. Collection of demographic and anthropometric data which includes: athletes’ sport, country, gender, height, weight, blood pressure and body fat percentage
  2. Screening echocardiogram to view structure of heart
  3. Electrocardiogram to review electrical conduction of the heart and potentially identify other cardiovascular abnormalities
  4. Questionnaire including historical questions that may predict if an athlete has a cardiovascular issue or is at risk for sudden cardiac death.
  5. Explanation of the findings to the individual elite university athlete, copy of the results to the athlete.


This is the first and largest international study of its type and is being recognized as a major source of data for sports medicine physicians, sports cardiologists and others involved in treating athletes. This is the first of many papers we expect to be published from this program.

Download the Research Poster


 Lawrence D. Rink, FISU Honorary Member, FISU, Former Chair of the FISU Medical Committee.

Experts from throughout the World debate as to what is the best method to evaluate the athletes’ heart and to prevent sudden death in athletes.  Some experts, sports organizations and countries recommend a questionnaire, some recommend an echocardiogram and some recommend an ECG (electrocardiogram). We used all three methods in our study. We presented our data and conclusions in Washington, DC. from the questionnaire that was used in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, in 2015.  There were some suprising findings:

  • The YES response rate to the American Heart Association 14-element Pre-Participation Examination personal and family history questions is quite high with 43.1% responding YES to at least one question (19.7% = 1;23.4% >2)
  • There was significant variation by both race and region to YES responses, particularly those relating to personal history.
  • Region was significantly associated with answering YES to any history question by both univariate and multiple regression.
  • Female athletes were significantly more likely to answer YES to the unexplained syncope/near-syncop and excessive dyspnea/fatigue or palpitations questions.
  • Male athletes were more likely to have a history of prior hypertension.
  • Regional differences were notable for a history of chest discomfort, excessive dyspnea/fatigue or palpitations, prior hypertension and prior cardiac testing.
  • Asia region athletes were significantly more likely to respond YES to questions of prior chest discomfort and excessive dyspnea/fatigue or palpitations than all other regions except Oceania.
  • Prior cardiac testing ordered by a physician was more prevalent in Europe and South America than other regions.
  • Regional differences noted particularly in the more subjective personal history questions especially for athletes from the Asia region suggest cultural and/or translation issues that may impede the predictive value of some to the American Heart Association Pre-Participation Examination questions internationally.


FISU will present multiple other publications discussing the outcome of the Check-Up Your Heart Program and will review differences between athletes representing different and countries. 

 Lawrence D. Rink will supervise the "Check up your heart program" for the third time in Taipei 2017 (after Kazan 2013 and Gwangju 2015)

FISU deserves all of the credit for a program of this magnitude that will positively affect athletes throughout the World.   FISU thanks the Local Organizing Committees from the Kazan 2013 Summer Universiade (RUS), the Gwangju 2015 Summer Universiade (KOR), and the Taipei 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade.  FISU also thanks Indiana University for their support in collection, analysis and storage of the data.

During the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade in August 2017, the FISU Medical Committee,  under the direction of Prof. Dusan Hamar, FISU Medical Committee Chair, and Cardiologist and FISU Committee Member Dr. Kyle Hornsby, along with the Taiwan Society of Cardiology will continue to carry out the Check-Up Your Heart Program. 

 (Source: Lawrence D. Rink, MD, FACC, Honorary Member, FISU; Clinical Professor of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine; Medical Director, Indiana University Sports Medicine Program; Director, Dr. Lawrence D. Rink Sports Medicine and Technology Center)