1 July, 2019
Who can experience Sudden Death and what is Brugada Syndrome?
Sudden Death is the sudden and unexpected cardiac arrest that occurs in an apparently healthy person. It can therefore affect anyone and at any time. In Spain there are 30,000 cases a year and several million worldwide.
Brugada Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation that affects the electrical impulses in the heart. This abnormality causes ventricular arrhythmia which may, in severe cases, lead to Sudden Death.
MAIN CAUSES OF SUDDEN DEATH
As we said at the beginning, people who experience Sudden Death are apparently healthy. For this reason, it is very important to identify those individuals who are at risk of suffering from it.
The leading cause of Sudden Death is coronary heart disease caused by a blockage of the coronary arteries. Risk factors that could cause this type of obstruction include obesity, hypercholesterolaemia and/or diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle.
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WHO CAN BE AFFECTED BY SUDDEN DEATH?
However, individuals who have had a previous heart attack or who have some type of structural heart disease are at the highest risk of suffering Sudden Death. Also at risk of suffering Sudden Death are those individuals whose heart structure is normal but have a genetic cardiac electrical disorder. These diseases include Brugada Syndrome, Long QT Syndrome and Short QT Syndrome.
“People at the highest risk of Sudden Death are those who have had a previous heart attack, who have some type of structural heart disease or who suffer from a genetic cardiac electrical disorder”
“The correct interpretation of the electrocardiogram forms the basis of everything we do in the prevention of sudden death and cardiac arrhythmias”
WHAT IS BRUGADA SYNDROME?
Brugada Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation that affects the heart’s sodium channels. The sodium channels are responsible for the heart’s electrical activity. The heart needs electricity to function and these genetic abnormalities modify or limit its proper electrical activity. In the most severe cases, this mutation can lead to malignant ventricular arrhythmias that may cause Sudden Death.
“Brugada syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the electrical channels of the heart and can cause sudden death”