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Family Tree Clarifies Risk of Death Due to Arrhythmia

Last Updated: February 29, 2012.

In six inherited arrhythmia syndromes, the Family Tree Mortality Ratio method is useful for identifying the age during which mortality risk becomes manifest in an untreated population, according to research published online Feb. 28 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In six inherited arrhythmia syndromes, the Family Tree Mortality Ratio (FTMR) method is useful for identifying the age during which mortality risk becomes manifest in an untreated population, according to research published online Feb. 28 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

Eline A. Nannenberg, M.D., of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues used the FTMR method to analyze all-cause mortality in six inherited arrhythmia syndromes that increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. These arrhythmia syndromes included long QT syndrome types 1 (LQTS1), 2 (LQTS2), and 3 (LQTS3); SCN5a-overlap syndrome; catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT); and Brugada syndrome.

For each inherited arrhythmia syndrome, the investigators identified the age ranges during which the mortality risk manifests in an untreated, unselected patient population. For LQTS1, the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was increased most significantly during the first 10 years of life; the SMR for LQTS2 reached significance between 30 and 39 years; and in LQTS3, the SMR was increased between 15 and 19 years of age. Excess mortality peaks were seen at age 20 to 39 for SCN5a-overlap syndrome and CPVT, and at age 40 to 59 in Brugada syndrome, especially in males.

"Our data might help to further guide treatment and screening strategies in an increasing group of (asymptomatic) mutation carriers who are detected by molecular genetic testing in families with an inherited arrhythmia syndrome," the authors write.

One of the authors disclosed a financial tie to PGxHealth.

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