New York: Children and teenagers who complain of chest pain only rarely have a heart problem causing it, a study published Monday suggests.What`s more, researchers say, relatively simple steps -- including a physical exam, taking a family history and doing an electrocardiogram -- could pinpoint those kids who need more extensive, and expensive, testing for heart problems.The study, reported in the journal Pediatrics, looked at records for 3,700 children older than six who came to Children`s Hospital Boston to have their chest pain evaluated.Just one percent turned out to have an underlying heart condition. The most common were inflammation of the heart muscle or its surrounding sac, which is often the result of an infection; and supraventricular tachycardia, a rapid heartbeat that is rarely life-threatening.No child died of a cardiac cause during the 10-year study period."This study should be reassuring," said lead researcher Dr. Susan F. Saleeb, a pediatric cardiologist at the Boston hospital."Chest pain in children is very common," she told Reuters Health, "but the chance of a cardiac cause is very low."CARDIAC ARREST DEATHS RAREIt`s known that sudden death from cardiac arrest is quite rare in children and teenagers. In the U.S., estimates range from less than 1 to about 6 such deaths per 100,000 -- about one-quarter of which happen during sports.
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