Wales

£2.3m for young people sudden cardiac death research

Kristian Hough Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Kristian Hough survived a sudden cardiac arrest at 19 - and later a genetic link was discovered

Research to reduce the number of sudden cardiac deaths in young people has received a £2.3m boost.

BHF Cymru is funding Swansea University work to understand how a mutated gene causes CPVT, leading to an irregular heart rhythm.

It is estimated one under 35-year-old dies every fortnight due to an undiagnosed inherited heart problem.

It is one of the only teams in the world able to examine the molecules in this detail.

Kristian Hough was 19 when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest on holiday on the Isle of Skye and survived, and tests and his family history suggest CPVT.

His mother Brenda said: "We were having breakfast, Kristian got up and just fell to the ground.

"His eyes glazed over, he turned grey and went clammy. I knew this was serious, we started to do CPR. Amazingly, the paramedics arrived within four or five minutes.

"They administered defibrillation four times and restarted his heart."

Ms Hough researched the family history and found seven people on the maternal side from Treherbert in Rhondda Cynon Taff who had experienced sudden cardiac arrest, the youngest aged 13.

Dr Lowri Thomas from Swansea University said: "The aim of this research is ultimately to improve the quality of life of those children and young people living with CPVT to develop more effective, personalised treatment.

"By better understanding the origins of CPVT, down to a molecular level, we will be better equipped in the future to be able to treat these conditions more effectively."

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