Young Hearts for Life

  • YH4L


    The Young Hearts for Life (YH4L) Cardiac Screening Program identifies high school and college students at risk for sudden cardiac death.  Each week sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 60 young adults in the United States.

    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and in Illinois. YH4L, under the guidance of Dr. Joseph Marek, a clinical cardiologist, seeks to detect young adults at risk for sudden cardiac death and increase community awareness of this devastating problem. YH4L does this by providing FREE ECGs that can identify those heart conditions that can cause sudden death.

    A number of cardiac conditions can result in sudden death.  An electrocardiogram (ECG) can detect certain impulse patterns or “markers” associated with these conditions that a stethoscope cannot.  HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy ), WPW (Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome), Long QT Syndrome, ARVD (arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia) and Brugada Syndrome are the most common cardiac conditions causing sudden death that can be detected by ECG.

    In 2004, the International Olympic Committee and the European Society of Cardiology recommended that athletes under the age of 35 be screened with an ECG every 2 years before participation in sports. Medical experts in the U.S. have not adopted the European recommendations for ECG testing, as a result, there are no routine screening programs for these conditions in the U.S.

    YH4L, by working with area high schools and colleges, offers ECG testing to all students free-of-charge. To date, over 200,000 students have been screened and hundreds of young adults have been identified with previously unsuspected, life-threatening, cardiac conditions.

    Screening consists of a quick, simple, painless ECG. Volunteers attach electrodes to the students’ chest and limbs in preparation for the ECG. The ECG machine monitors the electrical activity of the heart and prints out the information about heart rate and rhythm. A trained cardiologist then interprets the printed ECG.  The false abnormal rate for our program is less than 2%.  This rate is better than the false abnormal rate for most other screenings in healthcare.

    For more information, visit our website at  Young Hearts for life is a 501C3 tax exempt organization.



    Make sure you sign up your child first.

    To sign your child up for this FREE cardiac screening, please go to

    Click on the drop-down Menu that says Registration & Events and chooses Registration & Results. Click on Chicago Region High Schools. To access the registration page, read the YH4L information and then click on the “I Am Giving Permission for my child” Icon (located at the bottom of the page).


Student and Parent Forms

  • Help donate to help provide a FREE EKG to ALL West Aurora High School students.