Monday, 1 October 2007

Heart attacks in kids rare, but possible

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It sounds odd that kids in their early teens are having heart attacks, but it's been documented many times. The surprising thing is that most of these rare cases have nothing to do with risk factors like obesity, family history, high blood pressure or unhealthy cholesterol levels.

The cause? A rare but serious heart spasm that briefly cuts off the blood supply, triggering a heart attack. Adults can experience the problem as well, but when it shows up in kids it is particularly surprising and I would guess not addressed appropriately in many cases.

Have you brushed off the "my chest hurts" explanation from your child? While heart attacks are not always the end result here, signs like that are a red flag -- to parents and teachers especially.

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