Researchers have found that childhood
death could be prevented by a relatively low-cost screening that can help
identify children who are at a risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). It is
estimated that about 90 young, competitive athletes in the U.S. die each year
A 10-minute electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), history and physical examination
can identify unsuspected cases of potentially serious heart conditions which
are undiagnosed. Structural or electrical abnormalities in the heart can lead
to sudden cardiac arrest. Generally this condition goes unidentified as it
causes no symptoms.
400 healthy subjects aged 5-19 years were part of the study. According to
the American Heart Association,
this screening is required only when a child is an athlete. However in Japan and
Italy every child is screened for heart diseases and so researchers feel that
this measure should be undertaken in the United States of America also. The study
has been published in the American Heart Journal.