Monday, July 9, 2012

Letter to the NY TIMES Editor RE: Anahad O’Connor’s “Should Young Athletes Be Screened for Heart Risk?” April 30, 2012

The two recent articles discussing sudden cardiac arrest among young athletes (Crouse 5/1 and O'Connor 4/30)  raise real concerns as to the trickling down of some of the uber-competitive aspects of professional sports into college, high school, and even middle school programs.  With this intense competition comes substantial stress and the constant threat of disabling injury, already too prevalent in professional athletes.   While one article suggests screening for at-risk athletes, it fails to include possibly the most useful, practical and far-reaching tests.  Genome-wide screening presents an optimal solution: not only are costs falling perceptively, but screening can look beyond narrow risk groups, and potentially uncover predispositions to more common injuries, such as muscle strains, ACL tears or concussions.  This actionable data could be provided to athletes, coaches and parents and applied to change exercise routine and diet, and even to suggest to the student to look for alternative extracurricular activities.

Dov Greenbaum JD PhD
Mark Gerstein, PhD


Unpublished letter to the editor Letter to the Editor
Anahad O’Connor’s “Should Young Athletes Be Screened for Heart Risk?”
NY Times April 30, 2012
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/heart-risk-in-athletes-is-gaining-attention/

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