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Newfoundland researchers crack the genetic code of a sudden death cardiac killer
Date:10/25/2010

will also be carriers of the gene. It is considered the second-most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young people.

The mutation causes premature sudden cardiac death in males: 50 per cent die by age 40 years and 80 per cent by 50 years. For women the rate is five per cent and 20 per cent.

Given those figures, Dr. Connors realized nothing would be lost by implanting ICDs in asymptomatic patients with ARVD5 to maintain normal heart rhythms.

Earlier this year his team reviewed the data of the prevention program which they started in 1999. They concluded that implanted defibrillator treatment for primary prevention in both sexes, and secondary prevention in males significantly improves survival.

According to Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson, there are as many as 40,000 sudden cardiac arrests every year in Canada.

"What's fascinating about this study is that they show that preventive intervention works," says Dr. Abramson. "This treatment is not only prolonging lives; it's giving families peace of mind and hope for the future."

She also notes, "This is exciting information for physicians working with these rare cases but is also important to remember that the most common causes of heart disease relate to lifestyle. It is important that all of us, regardless of family history, take care of our hearts: basic things like smoking cessation, following a healthy diet, and physical activity go a long way in protecting our health."


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Contact: Jane-Diane Frasr
jfraser@hsf.ca
613-569-4361 x273
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Source:Eurekalert

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