Heart Disease

Heart disease is not a major cause of death among children and teenagers, but it is the largest cause of death among adults. Most risk factors that affect children can be controlled early in life, lowering the risk of heart disease later in life.Certain factors play important roles in a person’s chances of developing heart disease. Some risk factors can be changed, treated, or modified, and some cannot.

Many risk factors can be controlled early in life, lowering the risk of heart disease later in life. Other risk factors are passed down through family members (they are hereditary) or are the result of another illness or disease.

Prevention is the best way to avoid a heart problem later in life. Controlling as many of the following risk factors as possible, starting in childhood, will help reduce your child’s risk of developing heart disease as an adult.

  • High blood pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity

But in rare instances, a teen can have a heart abnormality that can lead to health problems and even death.Although heart problems in teens are rare, they can occur. These include arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats; congenital heart defects, which are problems that babies have at birth; and cardiomyopathies, long-lasting diseases that can damage the muscle and tissue around the heart.

Thorough physical examination and a careful interview to rule out  teenager’s family and personal history as part of his or her annual physical examination. If any abnormalities are detected, then a more extensive heart screen, such as an ECG and 2 D Echo  may be recommended. In this situation, other family members should be screened as well.