Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Exercise and Nutrition


Applied Health Sciences


School of Nursing and Health Professions



Introduction: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the leading medical cause of death for male athletes, especially in anaerobic-based sports. Standard 12-lead electrocardiograms (STD-ECG) have received recent attention for their diagnostic utility, but lack the practicality for mass screenings. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the validity of a compact HD-EKG unit during various testing environments: rest, aerobic activity, and immediate recovery of anaerobic activity in college-age, male athletes.

Methods: Twelve college-aged (19.9 ± 1.1 years old), male athletes volunteered. Test procedures included two ECG devices, a STD-ECG and a high-definition (HD-) EKG, simultaneously recording heart rate (HR) and rhythms during rest, a single-stage walking test, and during recovery of the Wingate Anaerobic Power test.

Results: Paired t-tests did not detect differences between measures of HR and rhythm (t(47) = -0.71, p > 0.05 and t(4) = 0.82, p > 0.05, respectively). The two measures of HR were very strongly related (r = 0.98, p < 0.001). However, the absolute difference between the STD-ECG and HD-EKG averaged 3.47 ± 4.44 bpm, which is significantly different than the acceptable variance of ± 2 bpm.

Conclusions: Wearable technology, such as a portable HD-EKG device worn during vigorous anaerobic activity, such as the Wingate Anaerobic Power test, may identify athletes most at risk for SCD.



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