NHL, NHLPA join major pro sports leagues in study of COVID-19 cardiac effects
The NHL, NHLPA and several other leagues and Players’ Associations issued the following joint statement regarding a COVID-19 study published by JAMA Cardiology.
NEW YORK (March 4, 2021) – The NHL, MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL and WNBA today issued the following joint statement:
The study published today by JAMA Cardiology is an illustration of the collaboration amongst medical experts at MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, NFL and WNBA and our respective players associations over the past year. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have worked more closely together than ever to share lessons learned to ensure the best possible care for players.
As part of that ongoing collaboration, together we created a comprehensive, universal cardiac screening program for athletes with prior COVID-19 infection. The screening, which was aligned with American College of Cardiology recommendations, was used to detect serious secondary conditions resulting from the virus and ensure an athlete’s safe return to play after COVID-19 infection.
Using de-identified data from the six leagues, the peer-reviewed study published today concludes that return-to-play screening found very few cases of inflammatory heart disease and that a safe return to professional sports following COVID-19 infection can be safely achieved. 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 found no adverse cardiac events occurred in the athletes who underwent cardiac screening and subsequently resumed professional sport participation. The study also reflects the care provided by club medical and athletic training staffs who contributed to the study.
As with other lessons professional sports have learned about COVID-19, the results of this study are being shared broadly to continue to contribute to the growing body of knowledge about the virus – a commitment we collectively share for the benefit of society beyond sports.