THE YOUNG ATHLETE AND HEART DISEASE
The American Heart Association has released guidelines recommending pre-participation screenings of young athletes. Each year though, we lose student athletes to Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) even after being cleared to participate in sport programs. Standard physical exams performed by the family physician may not be enough to detect the most recognized cause of SCD - Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). According to the American Heart Association, 36% of athletes who died while competing had probable or definite HCM, a condition which affects 1 out of every 500 people in the U.S. HCM is a genetic heart disease resulting in the thickening of the heart muscle which can ultimately result in cardiac failure. Fortunately deaths related to HCM among student athletes are rare but Georgia has seen more than its share in the past few years.