Heart Screening Effectively Identifies HS Students at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death

November 16, 2011

A Beaumont Health System program launched in 2007 to screen high school students for sudden cardiac death risk has proven to be a low-cost, effective, accessible and sustainable method of identifying heart conditions.

Royal Oak, Michigan (PRWEB) November 16, 2011

Beaumont Health System research featured at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando

A Beaumont Health System program launched in 2007 to screen high school students for sudden cardiac death risk has proven to be a low-cost, effective, accessible and sustainable method of identifying heart conditions.

Kim Bonzheim, director, Cardiology Services at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich., will present research results of Beaumontâs âœHealthy Heart Checkâ student screening program on Nov. 14 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla.

âœUsing physician volunteers and paid technical staff, we have developed a rapid, low-cost, scalable model to effectively screen large numbers of high school students for sudden cardiac death risk and other heart conditions,â says Bonzheim.

Mass screening of students prior to sports participation has been controversial in the medical community due to cost effectiveness and the high number of âœstop sportsâ findings based on false positive electrocardiograms. An ECG is a test that checks for problems with the heartâs electrical activity.

But the Beaumont research found that adding a âœquick lookâ echocardiogram to the screening helped to reduce by 90 percent the number of students falsely told to stop sports based on ECG screening alone. An echocardiogram is a noninvasive procedure that uses ultrasound waves to assess the heart’s function and structures.

Beaumontâs physician volunteer screening model also reduced the cost of mass student screening to just $7.84 per student, including staffing and supplies. The student heart screenings are offered free of charge several times a year at community locations, such as schools or recreational centers.

âœOur research shows that cardiovascular screening can be effectively performed at a low cost in order to prevent catastrophic, exertion-related sudden cardiac death in student athletes,â says Bonzheim.

Study data included 5,861 students screened at 23 free screening events held at 12 community locations. Abnormal ECGs were found in 740 students (13 percent) of whom 467 were referred on for an echocardiogram. Of these, 418 (90 percent) had normal echo results.

Normal ECGs were found in 5,121 students (87 percent) of whom 701 were referred for an echocardiogram, 659 of whom had normal echo results (94 percent).

Of the total number of students screened (5,861), 40 students (0.7 percent) were advised to stop exercise; 527 students (9 percent) were advised to continue playing sports with physician follow-up; and 5,204 students were found to be at low risk for sudden cardiac death.

Of those told to stop sports, one student was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the single most common cause of death in U.S. athletes. Nearly 4,000 of these deaths are in young people, and one in 200,000 high school athletes will die suddenly, most without any prior symptoms. Male athletes are 10 times more likely to die suddenly as a result of HCM.

Other students screened by Beaumont were diagnosed with conditions such as weak and enlarged heart muscles, abnormal heart valves and abnormal heart rhythms.

The Beaumont heart screening model includes a cardiac risk questionnaire, blood pressure check, a physical exam by a cardiologist and a 12-lead ECG. If a medical problem is suspected, a âœquick lookâ echocardiogram is performed to look for signs of structural heart disease.

Beaumont has successfully franchised the screening model to other Michigan hospitals located in Chelsea, Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Flint with a free-of-charge franchise kit.

Since the programâs inception in 2007 until now, a total of 7,543 students have been screened through the Beaumont program. Media sponsors, including WXYZ-TV-7, the Detroit ABC affiliate, and CBS radio station 97.1 The Ticket, have helped to promote the screenings. Of the 7,543 students screened to date, 45 were told to stop exercise immediately and follow up with a cardiologist, and 724 were advised that they could continue exercise, but should follow up with their physician.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/11/prweb8962075.htm

Source: prweb

comments powered by Disqus