NEW BRIGHTON — The 16-year-old high school football player who collapsed during a practice last month died of a heart condition, the medical examiner ruled this week.
Miles Kirkland, 16, a junior at Curtis High School, collapsed on the field during a practice at the school on Sept. 1. He was transferred to Richmond University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The city's medical examiner ruled on Tuesday that Kirkland died from natural causes stemming from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with obesity contributing.
Kirkland, an offensive and defensive lineman, stood 6-foot 2-inches tall and weighed 295 pounds, the Staten Island Advance reported.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a common heart condition in which the heart muscle thickens and makes it hard for blood to leave the heart, according to the American Heart Association. While the cause is not known, extreme athletic training can contribute, according to the Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy Association.
The condition is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young people, especially athletes, and can in rare cases be triggered during very vigorous activity, according to the American Heart Association.