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New sudden cardiac death database to save lives, says DH

7 November 2008

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A database launched today will help save the lives of people who may currently be at risk from the inherited heart condition that can strike without warning, the Department of Health announced today.

Designed by pathologists and cardiologists, and funded by the Department of Health, the database will be a key tool in understanding the incidence and causes of inheritable conditions that can cause sudden cardiac death.

With this knowledge, doctors will be able to better identify people at risk from one of these conditions and help them get access to the services they need.

Professor Roger Boyle, National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke said: “As well as improving our understanding of inherited cardiovascular disease it will actually save lives by identifying young victims of sudden cardiac death and helping their families reduce their own risk.”

Sudden cardiac death kills around 500 to 600 people under the age of 35 each year, and can happen unexpectedly in apparently fit and healthy people. The main cause for those under the age of 35 is an inheritable heart condition.

Department of Health