Screening high school athletes for heart conditions will save lives

Friday, May 9, 2014

Last night, I attended the annual gala for the Gregory M. Hirsch Heart Foundation. Gregory Hirsch, who would be 43 years old if he were alive today, was a wonderful, healthy and athletic young man. On April 28, 2001, just one week before his 30th birthday, Gregory died suddenly, leaving his family devastated.

It turned out that Gregory was suffering from an undetected heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Affecting about 1 in 500 people, HCM is a condition in which the heart muscle thickens, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood. The condition often goes undetected, and for many, the first sign of disease is sudden collapse – sometimes resulting in death. HCM is the number one cause of sudden cardiac death among children and young adults.

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