Pre-participation ECG screening in military recruits

Alon Grossman*, Alex Prokupetz, Igor Lipchenca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The findings and additional investigations required based on pre-participation electrocardiography (ECG) among military recruits are poorly defined in the literature. Objectives: This study was designed to evaluate the rate of abnormal findings on pre-participation ECG in young adults and the additional evaluations required based on these findings. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) aero medical screening center for flight academy and elite units' candidates. Flight academy and elite units' candidates undergo pre-participation ECG prior to enlistment to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Since 2010, all ECGS have been performed at the IAF aero medical center. All ECGs performed since January 2010 were analyzed by one of three cardiologists and all those in which significant findings were identified were referred to further evaluation upon the cardiologist's request. Causes of referral for further evaluation, the evaluations performed and the results of these evaluations are reported for the study population. Results: 1455 ECGS were performed in the years 2010-2011. Of these, 1388 (95.39%) were interpreted as normal. 67 subjects were referred to further evaluation based on ECG findings. The most common findings leading to further evaluation were T wave changes (16 cases, 23.88%), pre-excitation pattern (14, 20.89%) and voltage criteria for left ventricular hypertrophy (11, 16.41%). Only 7 subjects (10.44%) had abnormal findings which were considered clinically significant at the end of the medical evaluation. Conclusions: The rate of significant findings leading to disqualification from military activity is extremely low and referral to continued investigations based on 12-lead ECG findings should be judicious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-272
Number of pages4
JournalArquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Athletes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Electrocardiography
  • Triage


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