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Tags: Heart Disease | sudden | death | heart | genetics

Genetic Cause of Sudden Death in Young People Found

Genetic Cause of Sudden Death in Young People Found
(Copyright Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 10 March 2017 02:08 PM

A new gene that can lead to sudden death among young people and athletes has been identified, researchers say.

The gene, called CDH2, causes arrhythmogenic right ventricle cardiomyopathy (ARVC), which is a genetic disorder that predisposes patients to cardiac arrest.

This is a major cause of unexpected death in seemingly healthy young people.

A team of Canadian, South African and Italian researchers used genetic sequencing and bioinformatics analysis to identify the gene.

"This is important news for families who have had a young family member suffer a sudden cardiac death, for them to know a genetic cause has been identified," says Dr. Guillaume Paré, an associate professor of McMaster University in Ontario.

Inherited forms of cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease, often cause sudden cardiac arrest death in young people under the age of 35.

In ARVC, the heart tissue is replaced by fatty and fibrous tissue.  This process encourages the development of cardiac arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, such as ventricular fibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation causes loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest. If untreated, death can result within a few minutes.

The paper detailing their discovery appears Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

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Sudden cardiac death is a leading killer of young athletes but now researchers have uncovered a gene that may cause it.
sudden, death, heart, genetics
Friday, 10 March 2017 02:08 PM
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