Archive - Oct 29, 2013

Archive - Oct 29, 2013

Heart Screens for Athletes Doable, but Costly

ORLANDO -- A comprehensive cardiac workup for young athletes proved feasible but cost too much to be practical, investigators reported here.

The addition of a limited echocardiogram to history, physical, and ECG identified five athletes with an increased risk of sudden death from 659 screenings at a cost of about $9,000 per event, not including physician costs.

The results did little to define the optimal approach to screening athletes, Jeffrey D. Anderson, MD, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, reported here at the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting.

"History and physical exam alone are not adequate to capture all cardiac abnormalities that may put someone at risk for sudden death," Anderson said. "Echocardiography can reduce the false-positive rate of ECG screening, but mass echocardiography also will identify heart disease that does not pose an immediate risk."

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