News | November 06, 2008

UK Launches Sudden Cardiac Death Database

November 7, 2008 – The UK Department of Health announced today the launch of a database that will help identify the incidence and causes of sudden cardiac death and help save the lives of people who may currently be at risk from the inherited heart condition that can strike without warning.

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.

"Pathologists obtain important information from careful post mortem examination of young sudden death victims. This database will ensure that this information is recorded and retained centrally. It is important that details of the post mortem examination are available to cardiologists and geneticists who will be investigating relatives of sudden death victims,” Patrick Gallagher, co-chair of the UK Cardiac Pathology Network (UKCPN) said.

The goal is that with a greater knowledge of the incidence, prevalence and causes of sudden cardiac death, doctors will be able to identify better people at risk from one of these conditions and help them get access to the services they need. Close family members of victims of sudden cardiac death will be referred to specialist inherited cardiac conditions centers for counseling and support.

"This database will provide invaluable information for doctors on the causes,incidence and prevalence of sudden cardiac death. 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," said Professor Roger Boyle, National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke.

Health Minister Ann Keen added,"By funding this database, the Department of Health is committing to recommendations in the Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) National Service Framework (NSF) to reduce mortality from sudden cardiac death and improve services for families who have had the tragic experience of losing a close relative."

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