Objectives: Sudden cardiac arrest/death (SCA/D) is the leading medical cause of death in athletes. Masters athletes (≥35 years old) are increasing in numbers and are responsible for the vast majority of sport-related SCDs. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and emergency action plans (EAPs) have been shown to unequivocally reduce SCD, however, their prevalence in masters athletics remains unknown. We sought to identify the perceived AED accessibility and EAP preparedness amongst a group of masters athletes.

Results: Sixty-eight percent of 735 athletes completed the survey. Ninety-seven percent and 99% of athletes believed CPR and AEDs were effective at saving lives, respectively.  Conclusions: These findings indicate that nearly all athletes believe CPR and AED are effective at saving lives, but only a minority are aware of an AED near their place of exercise. Master athletes underestimate their own risk for exercise-related cardiac events, affirming the importance of educating masters athletes on their increased cardiac risk.


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