Genetic testing has shed new light on the deaths of nearly 500 young Australians and New Zealanders who died from sudden cardiac death in a 3-year period, the New England Journal of Medicine reports today.
“Sudden cardiac death in children and young adults has a devastating impact on families, care providers and the community,” says Professor Chris Semsarian, who led the multinational study. “It’s a tragedy that claims the lives of two to three young Australians each week.”
“Sudden cardiac death is a sudden, unexpected death in an otherwise healthy person occurring within an hour of symptom onset, or when unwitnessed, within 24 hours of the person last being seen in good health,” says Semsarian, Professor at University of Sydney, Head of the Molecular Cardiology Program at The Centenary Institute, and cardiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia.
To source the cause of these deaths, researchers prospectively investigated all 490 cases of sudden cardiac death (SCD) occurring among people aged one to 35 years from 2010 to 2012.