According to data published by British Heart Foundation (BHF), approximately 620,000 people in UK have a faulty heart gene that could cause sudden cardiac arrest and death at any moment. According to the foundation, the true number could be higher because of under-diagnosis. Most of these people are not aware of this risk. Called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy or ARVC, this condition replaces heart muscles with fat and fibrous tissue. As a result the ventricle gets thinner and heart cannot pump blood normally.
This condition is hereditary and caused by mutations of one more genes. ARVC had forced English Cricketer James Taylor retire from cricket last year at the young age of 26. Taylor said, “It is safe to say that being diagnosed with ARVC was the toughest and scariest week of my life,” Taylor said. “I never would have thought it would happen to me. I was 26 years old and playing cricket for England but my condition meant that I was at risk of sudden death from a cardiac arrest. I was lucky as my condition was detected early and despite having to give up my career, with medication I can lead a relatively normal life.”
BHF medical director professor Nilesh Samani says, “The reality is that there are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK who are unaware that they could be at risk of sudden death. If undetected and untreated, inherited heart conditions can be deadly and they continue to devastate families, often by taking away loved ones without warning.”