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Does Sudden Death Run in the Family?

Posted Jul 08 2009 9:53am


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the term used when someone dies suddenly from an irregular heart rhythm.  Experts stated that approximately 10% of SCD is the result of an inherited heart condition. When a man or women under fifty years old died suddenly, autopsy results revealed that an inherited heart disorder was frequently present.  Sudden cardiac death is one of the leading causes of death among young people, claiming approximately 3,000 lives per year.

 The important message here is that first-degree relatives of SCD need to be screened for the presence of an inherited cardiac abnormality.  Some inherited disorders can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes while others may require electrical devices (internal cardioverter defibrillator or ICD) or interventional procedures like a catheter ablation.

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