Sudden death in young people has a genetic cause - Long QT syndrome.
There is a predilection for some young adults to suddenly die. In a way it is similar to cot death: until now the cause was unknown. The "disease" has been identified and is called Long QT syndrome. A third of sudden "unexplained" deaths in people up to their mid thirties die of heart rhythm complications due to the inherited illness. The heart problem is not always evident in autopsies.
Parents can also die of the condition in later life. The faulty gene runs in families and is generally passed on to some offspring. A gene testing study of children having symptoms of heart disease is showing that many carry the gene.
Ongoing monitoring of youngsters is saving lives. However, there is no official program that tests all children. Some, of course are not diagnosed early and it is these who are at risk of sudden death. It is heart breaking for a family to lose a child in this way,
◆ Genetics by Ty Buchanan ◆