Undiagnosed heart conditions in seemingly healthy individuals can result in sudden death during exercise or sports competitions. To meet the needs of athletes and children 12 years and older in our community, Atlantic Health System offers sports cardiology services that identifies potential heart problems, while establishing safe levels of physical activity.
We created our sports cardiology program to offer evaluations, education and follow-up specialty care for an athlete. It is the first of its kind, created in response to research that has shed light on the growing numbers of athletes with heart conditions.
Our program includes additional layers of care when its physicians identify a heart condition. We are uniquely qualified to provide what can be life-saving tests for young athletes, as well as adults. Along with only a few other states, New Jersey requires special heart assessments for children aged 19 and younger. In addition, the American Heart Association recommended heart screenings for college athletes as well.
Our sports cardiology experts diagnose cardiovascular symptoms caused by both genetic and acquired heart conditions. Sports cardiologists are experienced in evaluating athletes and prescribing appropriate activity for those with cardiac conditions.
Services are individualized to each patient and may include:
- Comprehensive physical exam and assessment of history
- Electrocardiogram (ECG), if necessary – assesses the heart’s electrical activity
- Cardiopulmonary exercise testing or VO2 max study – evaluates aerobic endurance through oxygen uptake
- Cardiovascular imaging – produces 3-D images of the heart using non-invasive technology, like echocardiogram, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Stress tests – identifies potential conditions that may decrease blood flow to the heart muscle
- Education on symptom management and appropriate activity levels
- Genetic testing
- Exercise recommendations
Athletes on all levels – recreational, high school, collegiate and professional - may benefit from our program.
Keeping Young Athletes' Hearts Safe
In this NBC News Daily clip, Dr. Matthew Martinez, Director of Atlantic Health System Sports Cardiology at Morristown Medical Center and Medical Director of the Chanin T. Mast Center for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, discusses how parents can best protect young athletes from experiencing heart problems on the field.
He also discussed the need for teams and facilities to have a plan for cardiac emergencies, and to practice it regularly.
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