Purpose of the study
Media records are a common source when reporting incidence of sports-related out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). The incidence of OHCA increases with age, and OHCA in older age groups might be less likely to cause media attention. Our purpose was to assess the incidence of OHCA related to sport in the Norwegian Cardiac Arrest Registry (NorCAR) depending on age, and compare this with media reports.
Materials and methods
A systematic search in the media database Retriever was compared with data from NorCAR for the time-period 2015 and 2016. We divided the population in two age groups: < 40 and ≥ 40 years. OHCA with presumed cardiac ethology were included from NorCAR if classified as sports-related based on the following criteria:
• OHCA during or less than 60 minutes after exercise.
• OHCA at an area for “sport or recreational activities”
During the study period, there were 4.631 events with presumed cardiac ethology registered in NorCAR. Among these, 202 incidents matched at least one criterion for sports-related OHCA; 25 in the young age group and 177 in the older age group. The media search resulted in 16 cases eligible for inclusion, respectively eight in each age group; 13 of which were identified in NorCAR, and 3 that were not.
Media search source is not a reliable source when reporting the incidence of sports-related OHCA. Compared to NorCAR, a systematic media search highly underreported the incidence of sports-related OHCA. The gap between cases reported in media and NorCAR was higher in the older age group.