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Death of athlete, 13, sparks heart-testing debate

/ Source: The Associated Press

An obese eighth-grader's death during a football conditioning lap has revived the debate over testing of children's hearts before they engage in sports or strenuous activity.

Anthony Troupe Jr. collapsed last week on a suburban St. Louis football field before he even finished running a lap before practice.

The 13-year-old known as "Big Ant" for his 6-foot-2-inch, 383-pound body was pronounced dead at a local hospital an hour later.

The boy's father collapsed and died of a heart condition at age 45 after working a night shift in April 2007. It isn't known if Anthony had a similar condition, but some doctors say kids should receive a cardiac exam before playing competitive sports. Other doctors question if it would be too costly to run such tests on so many children.