Around 620,000 people in the UK carries a faulty gene that puts them at high risk of sudden death due to silent heart condition

British Health foundation (BHF), a charity has warned that around 6,20,000 people in the UK are carrying a defective (faulty) gene that may lead to sudden death or develop coronary heart disease. Among the estimated individuals, a majority of them are undiagnosed and unaware of the risk of cardiac arrest or heart attack. However, the charity feels that more people might be the victims of the disease as many of the genes are yet to be explored.                        

Around 620,000 people in the UK carries a faulty gene that puts them at high risk of sudden death due to silent heart condition

The estimates are 1 lakh higher than the previous year attributed to the better understanding of the prevalence of inherited heart conditions. This inherited heart condition can affect people irrespective of the age group and the child of the affected person has 50% chance of inheriting the disease. Every week in the UK around 12 healthy people under the age of 35 are victims of sudden cardiac deaths largely due to this condition. However, for those who are unaware, the first sign may be the sudden death of the person with no clear explanation.



BHF funded research has helped understand many of the faulty genes causing the condition as a result of which structured genetic testing services are developed for those at high risk of some of these conditions. James Taylor former England cricketer was forced to retire at a tender age of 26 after diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) last year. AVRC is an inherited heart condition wherein the heart muscle gets replaced with fibrous and fat tissue that makes the ventricles thin and hence will not be able to supply blood through out the body leading to sudden cardiac arrest.

James Taylor said that even though the condition forced him to quit his career, early diagnosis has helped him lead a normal life with proper medication. Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the BHF said that the research needs more funding that facilitates identification of many faulty genes, develop new treatments and to save more lives.

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