NATICK, Mass., Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Statistics reveal that in the United States a young competitive athlete dies suddenly every three days as a result of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The lives of young athletes at risk for SCA can be saved if athletes, coaches and families are aware of SCA risk factors and at-risk youths are screened by a physician. To raise awareness of SCA prevention, Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) today announced that its educational initiative Close the Gap is partnering with the Under Armour Brandon Jennings Invitational, an annual tournament that features 10 of the nation's top high school basketball programs, which will be held at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, WI on Saturday, January 7.
"Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs and, if not immediately treated, death can result within minutes," said Marcie Berger, M.D., F.A.C.C., a Milwaukee-area cardiologist. "Young athletes, especially males and those who are African American are particularly at risk, so detection is key to survival of at-risk youth."
To encourage event attendees to learn more about SCA as well as other cardiovascular conditions, Close the Gap will staff an educational booth and distribute free materials throughout the tournament. Free blood pressure screenings will also be offered by volunteers from Milwaukee's Froedtert Hospital. The public can learn more about SCA and heart disease risk factors at www.your-heart-health.com.
"We often hear that people are surprised Close the Gap is raising awareness of heart disease among young athletes when they appe