Student heart screenings set
Heart Hospital of Austin is holding free heart screenings Saturday for youths ages 14 to 18 to test for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a leading cause of sudden death in young people.
The screenings, from 8 a.m. to noon, are sponsored by Championship Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit fighting heart disease. Any students who engage in strenuous activities, including athletes, cheerleaders, band members and mountain bikers, are invited to be screened.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the heart muscle to become abnormally thick, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. The condition can also affect the heart’s electrical system, leading to an erratic heartbeat and even cardiac arrest, although the person may not have any symptoms. Championship Hearts says the condition is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young people, occurring in about 1 in 500.
Parents must sign a waiver for students to undergo the 10-minute screening. Forms are available on the foundation’s website in English and Spanish, and students are advised to wear loose-fitting shirts.
The screenings will be offered again Aug. 28 at the same time and place. The Heart Hospital is at 38th Street and Lamar Boulevard. Although the screenings are free, a $25 donation is suggested.