Cardiac deaths hereditary

Published: Friday 31 December 1999

According to a study by Paris-based scientist Xavier Jouven, sudden cardiac deaths among men can be traced to their family history. While it is well-known that a person's genetic blueprint contributes to his or her risk of a heart attack, this is the first study to identify a genetic risk for sudden cardiac death. Jouven says while treating heart attack patients, physicians should also ask about their parental history. For men, whose parents have died of sudden attack, the sudden death risk is nine times higher than those whose parents did not die of the same cause. Preventive measures should include reduction of risk factors such as weight gain, high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle and smoking ( Circulation , Vol 99, No 16).

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