In 409 B.C. Pheidippides, a Greek soldier and a conditioned runner ran from Marathon to Athens, a distance of 26 miles, to announce military victory over Persia. After delivering his message he collapsed and died. Pheidippides is the earliest athlete documented to die from sudden cardiac death. Today heart diseases such as, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , idiopathic left ventricular hypertrophy and congenital coronary artery anomalies, are the most common diseases that lead to sudden death in young athletes. Athletes, such as, professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics Reggie Lewis in 1993, collegiate basketball player from Loyola Marymount, Hank Gathers, and Olympic gold medal skater, Sergi Grinkov, in 1995, have each been victims of these diseases. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the main topic of this paper, is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young competitive athletes and the second most common form of heart muscle disease. It is important for athletes and non athletes alike to be informed of this disease and the effects it can have on all physically active people.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a congenital heart disease characterized by the abnormal thickening of the ventricular septum and the left ventricular wall. Enlargement of the ventricular septum can result in ventricular overflow obstruction (sub-aortic stenosis) and even cardiomyopathy. This means hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heart disease present from birth which can weaken the heart's pumping by the thickening of the ventricular septum and left ventricular creating a blockage where it is hard for the blood to pass through. It is believed to be a defect in the genes that control heart muscle growth (Sheridian 2006).
As you can see in the picture above, the right image of the heart is enlarged where the left ventricle is. Because hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the size of one of the heart chambers to shrink, the heart...
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