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03 Sep 2023

Study to identify early warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest

Researchers are recruiting anyone affected by sudden cardiac arrest to a study aimed at improving support for those at risk.

Jodie Ingles
Jodie Ingles

Researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research are recruiting all individuals affected by sudden cardiac arrest in NSW between the ages of one and 50, and their families, to the NSW Sudden Cardiac Arrest Registry, to help improve screening and treatment of the condition.

Through the registry, the team led by Associate Professor Jodie Ingles aims to help identify early warning signs for sudden cardiac arrest that will lead to improved guidelines for healthcare professionals and identify underlying genetic causes that may ultimately guide the development of new treatments.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a global public health issue that affects approximately 3,000 Australians aged below 50 per year. It occurs when a person develops a dangerous heart rhythm that prevents the heart from effectively pumping blood through the body. Those who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest generally have no prior health conditions, but only one in 10 will survive to hospital and there are often no warning signs.

“The unimaginably sudden and unexpected cardiac death of a young person is something that a family will always live with,” says Associate Professor Ingles, Head of the Clinical Genomics Laboratory at Garvan. “We need to identify the risk factors, so that we can better identify, monitor and treat those at risk.”

Associate Professor Ingles is a genetic counsellor and researcher who was an invited commissioner of the recently published Lancet Commission on Sudden Cardiac Death, which recommends improved access to genetic testing for better identification and monitoring of people at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

Participation in the registry involves providing informed consent for medical records, yearly health surveys and a blood sample for DNA analysis. Learn more about the study here.

 

Associate Professor Jodie Ingles is a Conjoint Professor at St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, UNSW Sydney.