The most common cause of sudden cardiac death in children and adolescents is the heart muscle disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The condition is hereditary, and if one family member is affected the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare recommends that the whole family is screened. This can lead to major upheavals in family members’ lives: people who see themselves as healthy can suddenly get a diagnosis that necessitates big lifestyle changes and sometimes even lifelong medical treatment.
“The lifestyle changes, on the other hand, have a greater negative impact, not least for older children and adolescents who are already doing sport and now have to avoid unsuitable sporting activities.”
“Younger children can be guided by their parents towards other leisure activities which they can pursue during their youth without running any risks,” says Bratt.Not informed of the risk
“Our most important conclusion is that newly diagnosed children and adolescents given the right support and information can maintain their quality of life and look confidently to the future,” she says. “I hope that my thesis will spur further improvements in the way these patients are looked after.”Good physical performance
The thesis “Screening for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Asymptomatic Children and Adolescents. Psychosocial consequences and impact on quality of life and physical activity” was successfully defended on 28 October.HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY AND SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH
Helena Aaberg | idw
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