WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Students who take part in athletics, cheerleading, marching band, drill team, swimming or other activities are encouraged to get their heart screened for possible genetic heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Waco Cardiology Associates is offering free heart screenings and a community health fair on Saturday, August 6 for children ages 14 to 18. This is a free event which will take place from 9 a.m. – noon.

The company says HCM is a genetic heart condition which usually does not impair physical activity – but is a set-up for potentially fatal rhythm problems which may occur during strenuous exercise. HCM is difficult to diagnose during a physical examination, but is easily detected with an echocardiogram.

Waco Cardiology Associates says it is estimated that one in 250 students are at risk for heart abnormalities. A cardiovascular screening is designed to evaluate the potential risk of sudden death from a cardiac-related abnormality.

The screenings will consist of a two-dimensional echocardiogram (a picture of the heart) to detect HCM. This screening is not included in standard pre-participation sports physical examinations, and is valued at over $300 – but free to all participants.

Waco Cardiology Associates limits their scope of practice to adults only, but is championing this student heart screening to keep children in McLennan, Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Hamilton, Hill and Limestone Counties safe to take part in their desired activities.

Parents are welcome to come, and are encouraged to accompany their children during the screening. Students must have a signed parental waiver to receive the screening.

The screenings will be offered at Waco Cardiology Associates – located at 7125 New Sanger Avenue, Suite A, in Waco. For more information, you can email HR@wacocardiology.com or call (254) 399-5431.