It happens rarely, but young athletes can have an undiagnosed cardiac health condition, and their active lifestyle can overtax their already stressed heart. The team of expert pediatric cardiologists at Children’s Cardiology Group in Orange, Newport Beach and Mission Viejo, California, offers a comprehensive athlete screening program including Healthy Heart Check™ to detect potentially dangerous abnormalities in their heart and cardiac system. If you have a young athlete in your family, book them into the athlete screening program by calling Children’s Cardiology Group or using the online scheduling tool.
Healthy Heart Check™ is an Athlete Screening Program for students and young adults involved in vigorous activities and organized sports. The program combines an in-depth health history and noninvasive cardiac screening technology to detect abnormalities of the heart and cardiac system that can cause “sudden cardiac death”.
Sudden cardiac death (SCD,) can occur in association with a variety of diseases including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM,) structural or acquired coronary abnormalities, and various dysrhythmia syndromes. The causes of SCD associated with exercise appear age-related. Acquired coronary artery disease is the leading cause of SCD in athletes over 30 years of age, while congenital cardiac abnormalities account for the majority of deaths in athletes less than 30 years of age, with HCM and structural coronary anomalies accounting for the vast majority of those deaths. The true incidence of SCD among children and adolescents is unknown, but a reasonable estimate may be in the range of 1.3/100,000 patient-years.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and other serious heart conditions, detected by Healthy Heart Check™, are among the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. HCM is an uncommon but serious disorder which may not have warning signs before a serious event. Strenuous activities put student athletes with HCM at higher risk for sudden death. Although SCD in student athletes may be an uncommon occurrence, identification of these at-risk athletes prior to SCD on the athletic field affords the best opportunity to preserve their lives.
During Healthy Heart Check™ the individual undergoes a screening that includes an in depth review of the individual including the health history questionnaire, blood pressure evaluation and electrocardiogram (ECG). A cardiac sonographer will perform a diagnostic echocardiogram with 2D, Pulsed Doppler, and Color Flow Mapping. Our board-certified Pediatric Cardiologist will review the test results and provide a report to you and to your primary care physician.