Astonishing Number of Heart Abnormalities Identified by Wimbledon Athletics During Recent Testing—a Much Higher Number Than Previously Reported

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Nearly 10% of the student athletes recently tested by Wimbledon Athletics were identified with abnormalities through echocardiography testing, which is significantly higher than studies would indicate. In all but two cases, EKGs for these same athletes were normal, clearly demonstrating the need for both tests.

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The number of abnormalities detected in this population of young athletes is much higher than studies would indicate.

Wimbledon Health Partners, the industry leader in on-site diagnostic testing for athletic and physician programs, reports an astounding number of cardiac abnormalities recently identified in student athletes, with almost all of them producing a normal EKG.

Wimbledon Athletics identified heart abnormalities in close to 10% of the echocardiograms read in the past month from recent student athlete testing at high schools, colleges, and universities. In all but two cases, the testing produced normal EKGs for these same athletes. The abnormalities, including cardiomyopathy, anomalous coronary arteries, bi-leaflet aortic valves with clinically significant regurgitation, aortic dilatation, and atrial septal defects, all necessitated phone calls to the schools’ athletic trainers from Wimbledon Health Partners’ Chief Medical Officer, Bradley J. Artel, MD, FACC, FASE, to ensure the athletes were either removed from physical activity or directed to follow up with a cardiologist.

“These findings are significant for a couple of reasons,” stated Dr. Artel. “First, the number of abnormalities detected in this population of young athletes is much higher than studies would indicate, proving there is a dire need for better data collection regarding sudden cardiac arrest within this age group. Second, the high number of normal EKGs clearly demonstrates that the addition of an echocardiogram will identify far more clinically relevant pathology than an EKG alone.”

Wimbledon Athletics includes both EKGs and echocardiograms in its comprehensive cardiovascular testing program. In addition, vascular ultrasound is used to detect blood clots, which athletes are susceptible to due to risk factors including dehydration, trauma, and long travel by car, bus, or airplane.

Dr. Artel explains why the use of both EKG and echocardiography to evaluate young athletes is critical. “EKGs are used to detect electrical abnormalities, such as Wolff-Parkinson-White, Long QT, and Brugada syndromes. Echocardiograms identify functional and structural abnormalities that cannot be detected by an EKG, including congenitally abnormal coronary arteries, heart valve abnormalities, holes in the heart muscle, weakened heart muscle, and abnormal pressures within the heart chambers and lungs. Simply put, there are abnormalities that cannot be detected through an EKG but can through an echocardiogram, and vice versa.”     

Life-threatening or life-altering cardiac abnormalities were detected in individuals at all but five of the last 20 schools where Wimbledon Athletics administered testing, including those conditions identified from echocardiography as well as cases of both Wolff-Parkinson-White and Long QT that were discovered in athletes through the company’s EKG testing.

“We continue to find clinically relevant abnormal tests at almost all of the schools where we test,” says Dr. Artel. “Imagine how many young athletes are still out there that have no idea they have a pre-existing heart condition that could potentially take their life? It is frightening.”

About Wimbledon Health Partners:

Wimbledon Health Partners formed in 2013 to meet the need for on-site diagnostic testing at physicians’ offices. The industry leader, Wimbledon Health Partners provides physicians with state-of-the-art, in-office testing to detect circulatory conditions and cardiac abnormalities using vascular ultrasound and echocardiography.

About Wimbledon Athletics:

Wimbledon Athletics, the newest division of Wimbledon Health Partners, is pioneering the way for high schools, colleges, universities, and sports facilities to test students for vascular conditions and for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities to help minimize sudden cardiac death among young athletes.

For more information on how your school can partner with Wimbledon Health Partners, visit or call us at (855) 200-8262.

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Cynda Perun
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