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Inherited heart defects greatly underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed

Inherited heart defects are greatly underdiagnosed. Deaths from this condition are often attributed to other causes such as drowning, epilepsy or cot death. Estimated 80 sudden deaths occur in New Zealand annually. Some studies have shown that 4% of cot deaths could be attributed to Long QT Syndrome. A New Zealand cardiologist wants greater recognition of the disease and screening. Any cases of sudden death should be tested for inherited heart defects so that the whole family can be assessed. Inherited heart defects may have symptoms of fainting, blackouts and seizures or it may have no symptoms at all. Long QT syndrome is an inherited heart defect which can lead to fatal arrhythmia if it is undiagnosed. Beta medication can reduce the risk by ten times.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Stuff

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About: Inherited heart defects greatly underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed

Date: 26 November 2004

Source: Stuff

Author: Kamala Hayman

URL: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3108785a7144,00.html

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