Enlarged Hearts Killing Young Athletes - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Enlarged Hearts Killing Young Athletes

One minute your child is running a play on the football field, the next, he is on the ground surrounded by paramedics.

It is a nightmare for any parent but it may be more common than you think.

The condition is called an enlarged heart and it often goes undetected until it's too late. It happens when the walls of the heart are thicker than they should be. The heart pumps normally, but it doesn't relax normally.

Therefore, when the athlete is playing a sport, he may experience shortness of breath or fainting spells.

And many don't even want to know if they have an enlarged heart.

Someone at a high risk for the disorder usually has an immediate relative with the disorder, maybe a mother or sister.

Screening for the disorder usually involves answering questions when going for a physical or procedures at a doctors office.

And doctors say if an athlete or anyone in general is diagnosed, stop any strenuous activity right away.

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