Heart problems can be genetically predisposed. That’s why doctors should know about possible pre-existing conditions in the family, advises a pediatric cardiologist.
If family members have had a heart attack early in life, parents should tell the pediatrician. The same applies if it is known that relatives have high cholesterol or have received a pacemaker at an early age. This is the advice of the pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist Hermann Josef Kahl.
A family history of heart attacks before the age of 60 may be due to familial hypercholesterolemia. This is a genetic disorder that is associated with high cholesterol, explains the expert from the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ). If this is detected at an early stage and preventive measures are taken in good time, the risk of heart problems at a young age can be significantly reduced.
That is why preventive screening should be carried out as early as infancy if there is a family risk, advises Kahl.
Heart defects usually discovered after birth
A heart defect can also be congenital. According to the association, more than 6500 children are born with it in Germany every year. In most cases, heart problems are already detected during examinations shortly after birth. In rare cases, however, they show up later, for example through chest pain, dizziness and fainting spells, especially during sports activities.
Kahl’s advice: If such attacks of weakness occur in connection with exertion, the child should pause training until it has been clarified whether a heart defect is present.
In babies, blue discolored lips, although warm, can be a sign of unrecognized heart disease. Also, if an infant suddenly takes much longer than usual to drink, it may mean that it is taking an unusual amount of energy from him, the association said. Such observations are better clarified in case of doubt. (www.kinderaerzte-im-netz.de)
Source: bee-seeks-stork.com / dpa
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