FINDING A HEART ABNORMALITY OR VASCULAR CONDITION DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THE END OF SPORTS FOR A YOUNG ATHLETE. BUT PLAYING WITH AN UNDETECTED CONDITION COULD LEAD TO THE END OF A LIFE.

Wimbledon Health Partners is the only company that focuses on the total cardiovascular health of your student athletes. Our qualified technologists and board certified reading cardiologists, pediatric cardiologists, and radiologists are trained to identify the specific cardiovascular conditions that can impact an athlete’s life.

Studies indicate the risk for sudden cardiac arrest is three times higher in competitive athletes than non-athletes. For students who participate in high-endurance activities, the risk for sudden cardiac arrest is significantly higher compared to those individuals who are not active. That’s why it is important to have your marching band members, ROTC, cheerleading squads, and dance teams tested as well as your traditional sports teams.

A disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, increasing the risk of a malignant arrhythmia

#1 medical cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes

    Most often passed down through families (inherited)
    Sudden cardiac death risk can be minimized with activity precautions, medications, and implanted defibrillators
Condition in which there is an accessory electrical pathway of the heart

    Can cause palpitations, lightheadedness, fainting, and even sudden cardiac death, but is often asymptomatic until a tragic event occurs
    Can be cured through a simple ablation procedure of the accessory pathway with no physical restrictions thereafter
Genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue

    Typical physical characteristics include being tall and thin
    Can cause sudden cardiac death through development of an aortic aneurysm
Genetic disorder of the heart’s electrical activity

    Can cause sudden cardiac death through the development of malignant arrhythmias during exercise or stress
    An inherited condition, but the age at which sudden cardiac death strikes can be variable
A birth defect that involves abnormal formation of the coronary arteries

#2 medical cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes

    Cannot be detected through EKG, but can with echocardiography
Unusual genetic disorder of the heart’s electrical system

    Causes sudden cardiac death through the development of a malignant arrhythmia
    An inherited condition, but the age at which sudden cardiac death strikes is variable
A disease marked by inflammation and damage of the heart muscle

    Causes include viral infections, autoimmune diseases, environmental toxins, and adverse reactions to medications
One of the most common and most serious valve disease problems

    Can cause leaking or stenosis (restricted opening) of the aortic valve
Failure of the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart to fully close following birth

    Common defect found in roughly 20-25% of the general population
    Have been associated with other conditions such as stroke, transient ischemic attack, and migraine headaches
Failure of the septal tissue to form between the atria during fetal development

    A much larger hole than a PFO
    As a greater volume of blood mixes in the upper heart chambers, pressure within the lungs can increase resulting in pulmonary hypertension and heart failure
    Can often be cured through a catheter-based, non-surgical procedure
Formation of a blood clot within a deep vein, predominantly within a deep vein

    Can cause leg pain or swelling but may occur without any symptoms
    Can break loose and travel to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal
Caused by a blood clot that travels to the lungs

    Common signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough, but also sudden death
One of the leading causes of stroke in young adults

    When an athlete’s neck is impacted or twisted, such as in yoga positions, wrestling neck holds, football tackles, and diving accidents, the carotid artery is susceptible to injury
    Symptoms such as headaches and neck pain may go away or improve, and the dissection may go unnoticed
Gastrointestinal problems are common to endurance athletes. To accommodate the demands of exercise, blood is diverted from the GI system to active muscles, reducing blood flow to the gut by as much as 80%, which can make the gut mucosa susceptible to ischemic injury

Empowering student athletes by giving them the information they need to address a cardiovascular condition is important.

Even if a student receives a clean bill of health from a physician, passes fitness tests, and exhibits no symptoms, he or she could still be at risk for one or more of these cardiovascular conditions, potentially putting the athlete’s life in danger.

Many conditions can be corrected, cured, or managed if identified early, allowing athletes to continue pursuing the activities they love.

“In addition to detecting conditions that may be lethal on the playing field, we are identifying abnormalities that, while not imminently life-threatening, still have consequences for the individuals later in life. By bringing an awareness of these disorders very early in their course, we may be preventing tragedies far down the road as well as in the immediate present.”

Dr. Bradley J. Artel

Ready to make sure your athletes are healthy and can participate safely in sports?

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Wimbledon Athletics
Wimbledon Radiology - Cardiology
Vascular Centers of America