Cardiology in the Young

Original Article

Prevalence of mitral valvar prolapse in young athletes

Absalom D. Hepnera1, Holly Morrella4, Seaneen Greavesa4, Jeff Greavesa4 and Mohammad Reza Movaheda2a3a4 c1

a1 University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange, California, United States of America

a2 Sarver Heart Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America

a3 Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America

a4 A Heart For Sports, Yorba Linda, California, United States of America

Abstract

Background The prevalence of mitral valvar prolapse has been reported to be between 0.6 and 21%. The goal of our study was to evaluate its prevalence in young athletes who underwent hand-held echocardiography as a screening mostly in southern California.

Methods We retrospectively analyzed 1742 echocardiograms that were performed as a part of a cardiac screening of teenage athletes. The total prevalence of mitral valvar prolapse was calculated and stratified based on gender.

Results We screened a total of 1172 male and 570 female high school athletes. The echocardiographic prevalence of mitral valvar prolapse was 0.9%. The prevalence was similar in both genders, at 1.2% in male and 0.7% in female athletes.

Conclusion The prevalence of mitral valvar prolapse in young athletes mostly in southern California was found to be less than 1%, and was similar in both genders.

(Accepted February 22 2008)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence to: M. Reza Movahed, MD, PhD, FACP, FACC, FSCAI, University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, 1501 N Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85745, USA. Tel: (520) 626 6223; Fax: (520) 626 5181; E-mail: rmovahed@email.arizona.edu; rmova@aol.com