AAP stress the importance of yearly health screenings for people under 25

Published: Jun. 27, 2021 at 11:08 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Every year, around 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from cardiac arrest.

Although a rare number, the pandemic has raised concerns about overall health.

“Is there anyone under the age of 50 that’s had, you know, a heart attack, has there been sudden unexplained deaths, drowning, single car accidents, infants in the family that has passed away unexpectedly?” asked Dr. Kimbery Huushagen of Black Hills Pediatrics as she listed off typical questions asked in a health screen.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a statement talking about the importance of these screens.

“The main thing that we’re screening for, or one of the main things, is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and that tends to, you know, tends to present in those teens in 20′s where it’s all of sudden during sports that you have a cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Hushagen, but explained that it’s not just athletes who should get these exams.

Hushagen said the pandemic has raised questions about the lasting effect Covid-19 could have on the heart.

She said asking these questions is a way to understand a patient’s family history and potentially save lives.

“In pediatrics, one of our main things that we focus on is all about prevention and trying to prevent those tragedies that can happen. So, anytime we can add in additional screening questions that we could potentially catch that one child makes a huge impact in their family, in their community,” said Dr. Hushagen.

Since the pandemic began, Hushagen said she’s seen a decrease in kids coming in for yearly visits and taking the necessary steps to ensure their own health.

“I do think we’ve kind of seen both extremes. Those who kind of took the opportunity to be at home and improve their overall health, you know, getting more active, making better lifestyle choices, but then we’ve also seen the opposite with kids not being in school, having more electronic time. Especially with the online school where we’re not being more active, so we’ve kind of seen the two ends of the spectrum.”

Hushagen encourages everyone to come in for a yearly physical exam to ensure their overall health and future.

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