Young Hearts for Life 2019

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Nearly 2,000 students from Metea Valley High School were medically scanned for potential heart problems.


Well there are a variety of cardiac conditions that can be detected by electrical cardiogram,” said Dr. Joseph Marek, medical director for Young Hearts for Life. “They have long medical names like hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic ventricular dysplasia. But, these conditions although they’re not common, they’re not rare, and can be present in one in 1,000 students.”

The procedure students underwent, called an electrocardiogram, or EKG for short, searches for irregular heart rhythms and also checks for thickened heart muscles that may lead to heart failure.

“There’s nothing that I can imagine more tragic than losing a young adult to a condition that might be identifiable and preventable,” said Dr. Marek. “As parents we do all sorts of crazy things for our kids because they’re the most important things. I think this is reasonable for us to do these EKGs they’re quick, simple, [and] painless. We can identify these young adults and get them treatment/management before it creates a catastrophe.”

The event was organized by Young Hearts for Life. This was the sixth year they have screened Metea Valley students and they will also be visiting Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley in the coming months.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.