Do preparticipation clinical exams reduce morbidity and mortality for athletes?
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Though clinical preparticipation exams (PPE) are recommended by experts and required in most states, we found no medium- or better-quality evidence that demonstrates they reduce mortality or morbidity. PPEs detect only a very small percentage of cardiac abnormalities among athletes who subsequently die suddenly (strength of recommendation [SOR]: C, case series study). PPEs are also unable to accurately identify athletes with exercise-induced bronchospasm (SOR: C, small cross-sectional study) and are poorly predictive of which athletes are at increased risk of orthopedic injuries (SOR: C, cross-sectional study).
Journal of Family Practice, 54(7) 2005: 628+.