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Heart Screenings for High School Students

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Today, high school athletes were offered free heart screenings for a potentially deadly disease:  one that claimed the life of a Westlake teen three years ago.

The Heart Hospital of Austin offered the screenings for the teens, ages 14 to 18, all in hopes of catching a potentially fatal condition called detect hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  It's a condition that might cause an active teen to suddenly collapse on the playing field and die.  It affects one in 500 athletes every year, often without any warning or symptoms.
   
You might remember that's the condition that Westlake teen Ben Breedlove died from in 2011.

Doctors say once your teen starts high school, it's a good idea to have the tests done.

Vivek Goswami, M.D., of the Heart Hospital of Austin says, "A good majority of the folks out there that are participating in exercise and living heart healthy lifestyles generally don't have to worry about this relatively rare disorder.  But because if we detect this early enough, there are things we can do to prevent some of the negative downstream consequences including sudden cardiac death."

Each test takes about  five minutes, and are non-invasive and painless.  Another free screening opportunity will take place in August.  It normally costs 750 dollars.

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