Every three days, a young athlete somewhere in the United States collapses and dies due to an undetected heart problem. It’s a tragedy that Gian Corrado, MD, who works in Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, has seen unfold firsthand. He was an undergraduate playing pick-up basketball when one of his teammates died suddenly on the court.
“It’s uncommon,” he says, “but it’s not so uncommon that it may not touch you. It happens, and we have no effective, efficient way to screen for it.”
There is a lot of interest in using heart screening in young athletes to reduce sudden death risk . The NCAA’s chief medical office recently suggested that it may be useful to routinely perform electrocardiograms (EKGs) and possibly other cardiac tests on some collegiate level athletes. A January 2016 opinion piece on this issue in the New York Times drew a lot of attention. Cardiac screening has also been proposed for other groups, such as children starting certain types of medications.
But there’s widespread debate in medical circles about such broad usage of EKGs. Why is this so controversial? If it’s such a valuable test, why doesn’t everyone get routine EKGs? …Read More
Interest in gluten—and in particular, avoiding it — continues to be on the rise. The gluten-free market has become a billion dollar business as more and more adults and children trial this restrictive diet. Many go gluten-free as a lifestyle choice.
However, many turn to a gluten-free diet for medical reasons and for relief of specific symptoms. It is estimated that roughly 10 percent of the population have gluten-related disorders. Figuring out whether an individual needs to be gluten-free and where she lies on the spectrum of gluten-related disorders can be hard, but is an important endeavor. …Read More
In the midst of some of the hottest months of summer, young athletes are just beginning practice sessions for fall sports. During this time, it’s important for athletes, coaches and trainers to be adequately prepared for the heat — and for physicians to be prepared to treat heat illnesses.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), early childhood caries (tooth decay) is the most prevalent chronic, infectious childhood disease, five times more common than asthma and four times more common than childhood obesity. In response to the prevalence, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) created the Campaign for Dental Health (CDH), which includes a group of oral health advocates and health care professionals working in partnership to ensure that the whole population has access to fluoride via community water fluoridation — the most effective and affordable way to prevent tooth decay. …Read More