Abstract 19364: Increased Prevalence of Cardiac Abnormalities in Asymptomatic Adolescents and Young Adults
Introduction: The reported prevalence of heart disease in asymptomatic adolescents is approximately 3.6%, while sudden cardiac death (SCD)is estimated at 0.6 to 6.2 per 100,000. While the incidence of SCD may be low, the potential for prevention is high, since almost all cases occur in individuals with a pre-existing cardiac abnormality. The identification of cardiac problems is highly dependent on the examination process. The recommendation of the American Heart Association for adolescents and young adults engaging in athletic events is a health screen that includes a personal and family medical history, and a physical examination. The purpose of this study was to establish prevalence of cardiac abnormalities in asymptomatic adolescents and young adults using 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and modified echocardiogram (echo) results.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that the prevalence of cardiac abnormalities in adolescents and young adults is higher than previously reported.
Methods: Low cost cardiovascular screens were administered to high school and college-level athletes and non-athletes. A 12-lead ECG, a modified echo, bilateral brachial blood pressure assessment (BP), a personal and family medical history assessment, and a Marfan syndrome questionnaire were administered. Results were reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist who determined whether follow-up was warranted. Data were analyzed and prevalence determined.
Results: A total of 1,141 individuals between the ages of 12 and 30 were screened over a three year period. Fifty-five (5%) were identified as having cardiac pathologies via ECG and/or echo with recommendation for follow-up. The most frequently occurring pathology identified was patent foramen ovale. Suggested follow-up was also made to 66 (6%) of the individuals due to arterial hypertension. It is important to note that of the 1,141 individuals screened 2 (.18%) were diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Conclusions: In conclusion, this data suggests a higher incidence of undiagnosed cardiac pathologies in adolescents and young adults than previously reported. Implementing a more comprehensive screen using readily available, cost effective diagnostic equipment may help identify pre-existing pathologies.
Author Disclosures: P.L. Hauer: None. J.G. McFarland: Ownership Interest; Significant; Owner of Screening America. K.J. Vaska: Other; Modest; Paid $5.00 per screen review. W.E. Schweinle: None. P.S. Cross: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.