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LeBron James’ son, Bronny James, has been discharged from the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest during basketball practice at the University of Southern California earlier this week, his doctor said Thursday.
“Thanks to the swift and effective response by the USC athletics’ medical staff, Bronny James was successfully treated for a sudden cardiac arrest,” Dr. Merije Chukumerije, cardiologist from Cedars-Sinai Medical Group, said in a statement. “He arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center fully conscious, neurologically intact and stable.”
The 18-year-old has since been discharged and is resting at home, the doctor said.
“Although his workup will be ongoing, we are hopeful for his continued progress and are encouraged by his response, resilience, and his family and community support,” Chukumerije added.
Bronny James, a rising basketball star and incoming freshman at USC, was taken to the hospital on Monday after suffering cardiac arrest at a practice. He was first admitted to the intensive care unit and was later listed in stable condition, a family spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added, “LeBron and [his wife] Savannah wish to publicly send their deepest thanks and appreciation to the USC medical and athletic staff for their incredible work and dedication to the safety of their athletes.”
Multiple studies show Black males suffer cardiac arrest at a higher level than others
Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of sport-related deaths among competitive athletes in the U.S. A 2020 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that Black male NCAA Division I basketball players had the highest incidence rate of sudden cardiac arrest and death among athletes 11 to 29 years old.
The study results also showed that the Black male college basketball players had an incidence rate of cardiac arrest and death 21 times higher than the average among high school male athletes of all races.
The authors suggested that more intensive screening programs should become standard for Black male college basketball players.
Possible factors that put Black male athletes at higher risk may include a combination of lifestyle, genetics and which sports they play, according to Richard Kovacs, a sports cardiologist and the chief medical officer at the American College of Cardiology.
One particular genetic cardiac disease commonly seen in Black men is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle is thickened and can reduce the amount of blood pumped to the body, Kovacs added.
Yahoo! News reports In the U.S., basketball is the “riskiest sport that we know of” for cardiac arrest, Kovacs said, perhaps because of players’ high level of activity.
“We look at sports as having a static and dynamic component,” Kovacs said. “We look at sports as having long-term endurance efforts versus short-term bursts — and basketball is a combination of all of the above.”
Indeed, a 2015 study published in the journal Circulation showed that Black athletes, males and basketball players all faced a substantially elevated risk of sudden cardiac death. The reason for this phenomenon among basketball players is unclear, it said.