Cardiac screening for young people

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Fabrice thankfully appears to be doing extremely well, and I wish him and his family all the best. However, the cause of his heart failure, leading to his collapse has not yet been resolved. Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) has a number of other names and acronyms, and I refer to this purely as a label, but it is a well recognised 'syndrome'.

Varying news reports over the last few days estimate that over 500 young people under the age of 35 die from this condition every year.

The charity CRY has been raising awareness of the condition for many years and has been promoting a programme of testing young people for an asymptomatic and otherwise undiagnosable condition. In February this year in Penzance, Cornwall this service was recently offered to all people between the ages of 14 and 35. Screening involves a simple ECG and it is estimated that this identifies a potentially life threatening  condition in 1 in 300 children and young adults. 1 in every 100 will apparently require monitoring, and if the condition is identified, steps can be taken to prevent the tragic consequences that have recently been so widely publicised, or worse.

As someone who has blogged before in support of breast cancer screening despite the apparently high "over-diagnosis" rate, I find these figures hard to argue against. The father of my children lost a close friend at the age of just 19 from SADS, whilst he was playing in a local football match. As a mother, I would definitely support screening of young people. 


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