News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | January 12, 2021

COVID-19 Registry Tracks Cardiac Health of College Athletes

American Heart Association and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine collaborate to evaluate impact to heart, improve detection and inform safe return to play

The AHA and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine are collaborating to evaluate impact of COVID on the hearts of athletes, improve detection and inform safe return to play. #COVID19

The AHA and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine are collaborating to evaluate impact of COVID on the hearts of athletes, improve detection and inform safe return to play. Getty Images


January 12, 2021 — The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) are joining forces to accelerate a critical new research initiative studying cardiac conditions in athletes, in part to speed new insights into the impact of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) to the cardiovascular system of college athletes and safety of return to play after diagnosis.

The research also will help better understand the long-term impact of COVID, especially in long-hauler COVID patients who still appear to exhibit health issues long after they recover from viral infection. 

Sports medicine and cardiology experts at Harvard and the University of Washington have formed a national registry research database to track COVID-19 cases and heart-related impacts in NCAA athletes to drive improvements in screening and to better understand cardiac involvement in college athletes with prior infections. The newly launched Outcomes Registry for Cardiac Conditions in Athletes (ORCCA) has already collected data from more than 3,000 athletes.

The AHA will use its Precision Medicine Platform (PMP), a secure cloud-computing platform hosted by the Association’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine to facilitate the research. 

“There have been many high-profile cases of athletes at the collegiate and professional levels showing myocarditis, a dangerous inflammation of the heart, after COVID-19,” said Mariell Jessup, M.D., FAHA, cardiologist and chief science and medical officer for the American Heart Association. “Research and data are key to answering the ongoing debate in college sports about the safety of return to play and guidelines on the appropriate assessment of the athletes.”

The research team is led by three primary investigators:

Jonathan Drezner, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, Center for Sports Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle

Kimberly Harmon, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, Center for Sports Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle

Aaron Baggish, M.D., Cardiovascular Performance Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

“Many college athletes are students of color, coming from communities with higher risk factors for COVID-19 complications,” said Stephanie Kliethermes, Ph.D., research director of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the AMSSM Collaborative Research Network. “This registry is an exciting and important starting point for the long-term investigation of cardiac outcomes in a diverse group of athletes diagnosed with COVID-19 and other heart conditions which present a potential health risk.”

The collaborative data registry will aid research on COVID-19, and, long-term, develop a deep knowledge base on cardiac disease in athletes beyond the pandemic. The registry has been developed with participation from the NCAA and has more than 60 schools currently contributing to the registry.

Schools interested to participate or learn more about the registry can send an inquiry to: [email protected]

Watch a video interview with Dr. Baggish on this topic — VIDEO: Lingering Myocardial Involvement After COVID-19 Infection

Related article: Cardiac MRI Shows Lower Degrees of Myocarditis in Athletes Recovered from COVID-19
 

Additional Resources:

 

Related Content

Feature | AHA | By Dave Fornell, DAIC Editor

The following are the late-breaking science presentation sessions at the 2021 American Heart Association (AHA) 2021 ...

Home November 23, 2021
Home
News | AHA

September 20, 2021 — The American Heart Association (AHA) announced Sept. 16 it decided to convert from a planned in ...

Home September 20, 2021
Home
Feature | AHA | Dave Fornell, Editor

Here is a list of the American Heart Association (AHA) late-breaking clinical trial presentations at the 2020 Virtual ...

Home November 20, 2020
Home
News | AHA

July 15, 2020 – The last major cardiovascular conference to go virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 (SARS-Cov-2) pandemic ...

Home July 15, 2020
Home
News | AHA

November 22, 2019 — Artificial intelligence can examine electrocardiogram (ECG) test results, a common medical test, to ...

Home November 22, 2019
Home
News | AHA

November 21, 2019 — At the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2019, Eko, a digital health company applying ...

Home November 21, 2019
Home
News | AHA

November 21, 2019 — People who experience cardiac arrests over the weekend are less likely to survive long enough to be ...

Home November 21, 2019
Home
News | AHA

November 20, 2019 — Heart attack survivors may have an increased risk of developing cancer compared to people without ...

Home November 20, 2019
Home
News | AHA

November 20, 2019 — Ultra-processed foods, which account for more than half of an average American’s daily calories, are ...

Home November 20, 2019
Home
News | AHA

November 20, 2019 — Frequent cannabis (marijuana) use among young people was linked to an increased risk of stroke, and ...

Home November 20, 2019
Home
Subscribe Now