Heart Screenings for Young Athletes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Heart Screenings for Young Athletes

All young athletes must get a physical before playing sports.

Even so, you still hear about some who seem healthy, but fall victim to sudden death.

Now, from the Center for Sports Medicine in Italy, we get the results of a 26 year study of 40 thousand young Italian athletes.

Doctors, there, collected the patients history, and gave each a physical exam,  along with an electro-cardiogram screening.  The screening was able to identify people affected by concealed disease and disqualify them from sport activity.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found that during the twenty-six year study, that full screening reduced the incidence of sudden death in young athletes by almost ninety percent.

The hope is that other countries will follow Italy's lead and make electro-cardiogram screening mandatory for all student athletes.

It is estimated hospitals could do that for about 40 dollars a student.

 During the twenty-six year study period, fifty-five sudden cardiac deaths occurred in screened athletes, and two-hundred-sixty-five sudden deaths occurred in unscreened non-athletes.

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