Baltimore teens to be screened for heart disease

A team of 30 volunteers from Johns Hopkins plans to partner with Baltimore City schools to offer city teens screening for early signs of heart disease.

The free exams will look for key risk factors including obesity, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, diabetes and family history of disease. With the findings, officials hope to curb increasingly common bad eating and exercising habits before they become engrained.

Hopkins officials already had been screening Maryland athletes for heart abnormalities and decided to expand the program to some 2,000 13-year-olds expected to attend a high school fair at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Nov. 13 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

"One of the surprise findings from our other heart screenings was that basic risk factors for cardiovascular disease are too common among Maryland high-school students, and these students and their parents are simply unaware that they face a serious health problem," said Dr. Theodore Abraham, a cardiologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital who is spearheading the screening efforts.

Meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

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