There are 7,000 people throughout the province who have an inherited risk of fainting or dying suddenly from an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) – often this is only discovered through an event like fainting.
However, research indicates that this is just the tip of the iceberg – for every person identified with inherited arrhythmia, four or more family members may unknowingly be at risk.
The condition can be managed with simple medical intervention, but when left unmonitored, it puts lives in danger. As the recently appointed Sauder Family and Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiology, we are assembling a team of experts to build a network of clinics to discover those British Columbians at risk, and provide them with protection.
Despite all of our advances in prevention and treatment of heart disease, several thousand people in British Columbia die suddenly every year. I feel this is a key challenge for my team to identify why this happens, who is at risk and how to prevent these tragedies. I am proud to be able to pursue this work, thanks in part to the generous Heart and Stroke Foundation donors.
This February is Heart Month. When a Heart and Stroke Foundation canvasser arrives at your door, please give generously. Your support enables me and my fellow researchers, to continue vital work that will save lives here in B.C.
Show your support for healthy lives, free of heart disease and stroke at heartandstroke.ca.
Together, we can Make Health Last.
Dr. Andrew Krahn, The Sauder Family and Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiology