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Blues taking proactive approach to health

Loretta Johns  November 26, 2014 10:58 AM

Mick Malthouse and Marc Murphy with Garry Jennings, Director, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. (Photo: Carlton Football Club)

Mick Malthouse and Marc Murphy with Garry Jennings, Director, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. (Photo: Carlton Football Club)

The Carlton Football Club has taken a proactive approach to monitor the health and wellbeing of its coaching staff and players. 

Health experts from Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute spent Tuesday morning at Visy Park putting the team through health checks, including cardiac, cholesterol and diabetes screening. 

The screening involved a simple blood test followed by an electrocardiogram (ECG).

It’s known that young athletes with abnormal hearts are a high risk group for sudden cardiac death. Researchers at Baker IDI are working to understand more about the incidence and opportunities for prevention. 

Cardiologist and Director of Baker IDI, Professor Garry Jennings says local health professionals are keen to understand if screening of young athletes might prevent sudden deaths.

"Sometimes there are symptoms like shortness of breath and fainting, or a person may have a family history of sudden cardiac death but many times, these deaths occur without warning," Professor Jennings said.

"Sudden cardiac death is a critical public health issue. A young life cut short is a devastating event for families, sporting clubs and communities, and is associated with many lost productive years."

Carlton’s GM – Football Operations Andrew McKay says the Club was keen to be involved in the testing. 

“The health and wellbeing of our team is paramount, so this was an opportunity to find out if anyone was at potentially risk and then put strategies in place around that,” McKay said. 

“It’s also a chance for the Club to help raise awareness that young athletes can be at risk and we hope that by taking part it will encourage others to also take a proactive approach to health."