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What causes heart attacks in young athletes?

Unveiling the Triggers Behind Heart Attacks in Young Athletes

Many people are worried and want to know more about the reasons for the unfortunate rise in heart attacks among young athletes. The son of NBA superstar LeBron James, Bronny, collapsed recently. During a basketball practice, the 18-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest. After a few days in the hospital, Bronny was discharged on July 27 after his health crisis. The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles identified Bronny James’ congenital heart defect, and the Mayo Clinic and Atlantic Health-Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey followed up on it. According to the spokeswoman, this defect was most likely the cause of Bronny James’ cardiac arrest.

The causes of heart attacks in this group are investigated in depth in a research article published in the National Library of Medicine. So, what is the true cause of heart attacks in young athletes? Let us now dissect the findings of this study.

Findings of the study

The study gives more information about a condition called sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which is the most common way for young athletes to die. Contrary to what most people think, most of these things don’t happen because of direct physical effort during sports. They are frequently the result of persistent heart issues that may go undetected without proper screening.

The study points out that structural heart problems, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), are one of the most important factors. These conditions cause the heart’s structure to be different than it should be. This can mess up the heart’s electrical signals and raise the risk of fatal rhythms. Screening for these conditions in young players with thorough medical exams, like electrocardiograms (ECGs) and echocardiograms, can help find people who are at risk.

Genetic Clues

Another important point that the study brings up is the possible role of genetic susceptibility. Athletes can learn a lot about their natural risk factors from genetic tests and their family background. Also, using drugs to improve performance, such as anabolic steroids, was mentioned as a possible cause of heart problems in young players. 

Get Screened

Even though heart attacks in young players are rare, it’s important to be aware that they can happen. The study shows how important it is to have thorough pre-participation screening programs. These programs try to find heart problems that might not be noticed otherwise so that they can be treated right away and terrible events might be avoided. By handling these things ahead of time, we can try to make our young players’ lives better and stop heart attacks from taking precious lives.