Do Basketball Players Have a High Risk of Pulmonary Embolism? A Scoping Review

Martí Casals, Jose A. Martínez, Joan A. Caylà, Vicente Martín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a serious preventable disease that requires urgent care. In recent years, there have been several reports in the media about basketball players experiencing PE. The aim of the present study was to assess whether there is a need for in-depth studies to determine whether basketball players constitute a group particularly at risk of PE and to describe some hypotheses to be investigated. Methods We reviewed original articles about PE among professional and amateur basketball players in the scientific literature (PubMed) and the Internet (Google search) for the seasons 2010-2011 to 2014-2015, both of which were included. We used search strategies that included some combination of PE-related terms. Rates of PE were calculated and were compared with those obtained from other studies. Results Of the 15 cases detected, the majority were men (66.7%), mean ages being 28.8 yr among males and 20.4 yr among females. We focused on six cases which, were detected among National Basketball Association and Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto basketball players, resulting in an average incidence of 1.27 and 2.06 cases per 1000 players per year in the National Basketball Association and Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto, respectively. This incidence is much higher than that observed in general population studies for the same age group. Conclusions Basketball players seem to have a higher risk of PE than their peers from the general population. More studies are needed to confirm these findings and identify factors predisposing them to PE to contribute to its prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-471
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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