Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Relatives Of A Young Person Who Dies Suddenly Should Have Cardiological And Genetic Examination

Date:
May 28, 2009
Source:
European Society of Human Genetics
Summary:
Relatives of a young person who dies suddenly should always be referred for cardiological and genetic examination in order to identify if they too are at risk of sudden death. Although new research has shown that inherited heart disease was present in over 30 percent of the families of sudden unexplained death victims, the majority of such relatives were currently not being referred for examination.

Relatives of a young person who dies suddenly should always be referred for cardiological and genetic examination in order to identify if they too are at risk of sudden death, a scientist told the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics on May 26. Dr. Christian van der Werf, a research fellow at the Department of Cardiogenetics, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam,

Related Articles


The Netherlands said that, although his team's research showed that inherited heart disease was present in over 30% of the families of sudden unexplained death (SUD) victims, the majority of such relatives were currently not being referred for examination.

When an individual aged 1-50 years dies suddenly, autopsy reveals an inheritable heart disease in the majority of the victims. But in approximately 20% autopsy does not reveal the cause of death. "We thought that cardiological and genetic examination of surviving first degree relatives of these SUD patients might reveal an inherited heart disease", said Dr. van der Werf.

In the largest such study to date, the team looked at the outcome of first degree relative screening in 127 families who had suffered an SUD and where either there had been no autopsy (53.8%), or the autopsy did not reveal a cause of death. The average age at death of the SUD victims was only 29.8 years old.

The initial examination of the relatives consisted of taking personal and family medical history and a resting ECG. A second cardiac autopsy of the SUD victim was undertaken if tissue had been stored and was available. Additional cardiological examinations of the relatives were performed where necessary. Genetic analysis of the associated candidate gene(s) was performed in material obtained from the deceased person or in those relatives who showed clinical abnormalities.

The researchers found inherited heart disease in 36, or 32% of the families. These results meant that doctors were able to treat affected relatives and try to prevent their succumbing to sudden cardiac death. "The scale of heart disease that we found in such families underlines the necessity for general practitioners to refer first degree relatives of SUD victims to a specialised cardiogenetics department as soon as possible", said Dr. van der Werf. "Currently we estimate that only 10% of SUD families are being examined for inherited heart conditions.

The study is the second report from the registry of families who attended the Amsterdam centre's cardiogenetics department because of unexplained sudden death of a relative aged 1-50 years. The scientists intend to continue to report the yield of family screening in an increasing number of families.

"At present we are conducting a study to stimulate general practitioners and other involved physicians to request autopsy and DNA-storage for SUD patients and to refer relatives to a cardiogenetics department after a case of sudden death at young age. We hope this will lead to identification of more families at risk of sudden cardiac death, in which preventive measures then can be taken" said Dr. van der Werf.

"Relatives of young sudden death victims are often referred to cardiologists for cardiological examination. We believe relatives should instead be referred to cardiogenetics departments, where clinical geneticists, cardiologists and psychosocial workers cooperate. These professionals specialise in inherited heart diseases and their clinical and psychosocial implications, and can provide a better quality of care. Additionally, cardiologists should receive more education in inherited heart diseases. By taking these measures we can save lives and avoid further distress for families who have already suffered enough," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Human Genetics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society of Human Genetics. "Relatives Of A Young Person Who Dies Suddenly Should Have Cardiological And Genetic Examination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090526093940.htm>.
European Society of Human Genetics. (2009, May 28). Relatives Of A Young Person Who Dies Suddenly Should Have Cardiological And Genetic Examination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090526093940.htm
European Society of Human Genetics. "Relatives Of A Young Person Who Dies Suddenly Should Have Cardiological And Genetic Examination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090526093940.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins