For young athletes (12 to 35 years) participating in competitive sports, the total relative risk of SCD is approximately 2.5 times higher than in non-athletes. However, absolute event rates are low, about 1 in 50 000 to 200 000 annually. SCD in athletes occurs most commonly during or shortly after intense training or competition. For young athletes participating in organized individual or team sports, the most common cause of SCD in the United States is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (36%), followed by coronary artery anomalies (17%). The majority of athletes who suffer SCD are men (approximately 90%). Certain sports appear to pose a higher risk than others—including basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and baseball.
Source: Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach July/August 2010