Genetic Tests Check Risk for Sudden Death

Genetic Tests Check Risk for Sudden Death

Nov. 16, 2009 (Orlando, Fla.) — In the event that you have a relative who endured sudden unexplained death, postmortem genetic testing may be a cost-effective way of identifying changes that will put you and other surviving family individuals at increased risk for potentially fatal heart rhythm disturbances, a new consider recommends.

“After death quality testing may be a higher way to determine risk to relatives than traditional comprehensive cardiac testing of first-degree relatives,” says analyst Michael J. Ackerman, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Nearly 300,000 Americans a year endure sudden cardiac passing, in which a person passes on within minutes after an sudden loss of heart function.

Hereditary abandons clarify up to 25% to 30% of these cases, Ackerman says. But instead of provide genetic testing to the expired person, the suggested approach is to offer comprehensive cardiac testing to first-degree relatives, he says.

For the think about, Ackerman and colleagues performed after death testing for two hereditary heart cadence disarranges associated with sudden cardiac passing on 146 people who had suffered sudden unexplained passings. Comes about showed that 40 patients (27%) had one of the two mutations known to cause sudden cardiac death.

The researchers at that point performed further testing on 160 relatives of casualties who tested positive for transformations. The tests included genetic screening and either treadmill stretch tests or electrocardiograms.

The total taken a toll of the gene-directed exams: $6.78 million.

Then, the researchers performed the currently prescribed comprehensive cardiac testing on all relatives of the sudden unexplained passing victims, regardless of their transformation status. The taken a toll exceeded $7.7 million.

“Use of a [hereditary] dissection to coordinate encourage testing would save nearly $1 million dollars,” Ackerman says.

A major deterrent to hereditary testing is that insurance companies typically do not cover the cost, while they do pay for the more costly comprehensive cardiac testing for all family individuals, he says.

Johns Hopkins cardiologist Gordon Tomaselli, MD, who moderated a news briefing on the findings, tells WebMD that he hopes information like these will impel more protections companies to pay for the gene testing.

The consider was reported at the yearly meeting of the American Heart Affiliation.

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