Your Risk for Sudden Death? Check the Family Tree

Your Risk for Sudden Death? Check the Family Tree

Researchers say tracing a patient's family tree could help determine treatment for certain heart problems.<br>
Researchers say tracing a patient's family tree could help determine treatment for certain heart problems.

Heart rhythm disorders can cause sudden death in seemingly healthy people, so Dutch scientists wanted to assess the death risk of patients by doing genetic testing on their relatives.  While the genetic mutation that causes the most serious rhythm disorders is rare, researchers found that if a person does have it, their children have a 50% chance of inheriting it as well.

Using this genetic information and the ages older family members started having symptoms, the researchers were able to pinpoint the best age to begin screening for and treating these heart disorders.
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