SUNDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A new, inexpensive screening method could help reduce the risk for sudden cardiac death among high school athletes, U.S. researchers report.
Athletic trainers at 10 high schools in Houston used a laptop system to perform electrocardiograms (EKGs) on 2,057 student athletes. The results, which were transmitted to a cardiologist, revealed 186 athletes with abnormal EKGs. All but 13 of them received subsequent echocardiograms.
Among the findings:
Performing EKGs in schools would cost less than $5 per student, and the EKG laptop equipment could be provided to school districts for about $500, according to Dr. Thomas DeBauche, of Cypress Cardiology in Houston.
Though school-based EKG screening would not eliminate sudden cardiac death among high school athletes, it could significantly reduce the risk, the researchers said.
The study was to be presented Sunday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla.
The Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome Foundation has more about sudden cardiac death in young people.
SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Nov. 15, 2009