Scientific study shows fears of cardiac complications for athletes returning from COVID-19 have been overblown

by Peter Heck · Mar 5th, 2021 10:22 am

Last Updated Mar 6th, 2021 at 11:10 am

A joint statement released by nearly every professional sports league in the United States revealed that a major study published Thursday by the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology found cardiac complications stemming from COVID-19 were not the threat to athletes that was once feared.

The peer-reviewed study, jointly referenced by Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, National Football League, and the Women's National Basketball Association, affirmed that athletes coming back from a COVID-19 infection are not in danger of myocarditis.

"Using de-identified data from the six leagues, the peer-reviewed study published today found very few cases of inflammatory heart disease and that a return to professional sports following COVID-19 infection can be safely achieved using this return to play screening program," the leagues' statement reads. "In this study of 789 COVID-19 positive athletes from across our leagues, evidence of inflammatory heart disease was identified in 0.6% of athletes. The study also found no adverse cardiac events occurring in the athletes who underwent cardiac screening and subsequently resumed professional sport participation."

Fears of this inflammatory cardiac condition were what provoked both the Big Ten Conference and Pacific Ten Conference to cancel their fall sports season. Both leagues later permitted football to return after immense public pressure.


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