AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Heart Hospital of Austin gave free heart screenings today.
Their aim is to detect a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — it’s the leading cause of sudden death in young athletes and symptoms often go undetected.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is characterized by thickening of the muscular wall that separates the lower left chamber of the heart from the lower right chamber, which can lead to keeping blood from flowing to the heart.
“When we hear these stories of these young, otherwise healthy athletes collapsing suddenly either on or off the field,” said Cardiologist Dr. Vivek Goswami, of Heart Hospital of Austin. “The reality is if we can identify the substrate of these problems early, we can actually break the natural progression of that disease.”
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath (especially during physical exertion), fluttering or pounding in the chest, lightheadedness and dizziness.
The Heart Hospital of Austin hosts these screenings twice a year and has for the past 16 years. In that time, it’s screened over 18,000 athletes.