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Population screening for SCD in young people: Feasible with basic screening program
Date:5/8/2014

Amsterdam, 8 May 2014. Despite fears over cost, the wide-scale screening of young people to detect risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) is feasible and cost effective, according to a study presented at EuroPRevent 2014.(1) More than 12,000 people aged between 14 and 35 were screened at a cost of 35 (40 euro) each; rates of subsequent referral for further investigation were low and considered of "a relative low additional cost" to health services.

The study was reported at the EuroPRevent congress 2014 in Amsterdam by Dr Rajay Narain, Clinical Research Fellow from the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, St George's University of London (and Cardiac Risk in the Young Heart Screening Charity), UK.

As background to the study Dr Narain explained that the most publicised cases of SCD in young people occur in elite sports players and athletes. Yet the majority of cases occur as a result of inherited cardiac conditions (such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), and a large proportion of these, he adds, can be detected during life. SCD in a young person is likely to have resulted from an arrhythmia caused by a mutation in one of the cardiac ion channels or from other inherited conditions affecting the muscles of the heart.

"To prevent such tragedies," said Dr Narain, "sporting and scientific bodies recommend pre-participation screening in young athletes. However, this approach is controversial because of cost - and most SCDs in the young are likely to occur in non-competitive athletes. It was thus our aim to see if population screening was feasible in this age group."

The study involved the screening of 12,000 young people irrespective of their athletic ability. Only 13% were considered elite athletes. Screening was performed at a cost of 35 per individual and comprised a health questionnaire, 12-lead ECG and consultation with a cardiologist. Those with abnormalities had an echocardiogram on the day or were referred for further e
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
33-625-246-027
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert  

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