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Free assessments detect serious genetic heart condition

For more than 10 years, Heart Hospital of Austin has provided free heart screenings twice a year for student athletes—ages 14 through 18—to detect hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a serious genetic heart condition in which the heart muscle thickens.

HCM affects one in 500 young athletes every year, often without any warning or symptoms. While it’s relatively easy to detect, it can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.

Georgetown residents Mike and Eva Collins know about the seriousness of HCM all too well. Their son, Joseph, collapsed on the baseball field during a routine practice 10 years ago. He was later diagnosed with HCM, and doctors implanted a defibrillator to regulate his heart. Joseph is now in excellent health, and his parents strongly advocate for every student athlete to be screened.

This month’s heart-screening event took place on Saturday, Aug. 13. To date, more than 6,600 young athletes have been screened. The next screening is scheduled for Feb. 4, 2017. Click here for more information or call (512) 478-3627.

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