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New test for sudden cardiac death receives funding

A new test to identify patients at risk of sudden cardiac death is being developed by researchers at our University and Leicester’s Hospitals thanks to a £183,000 grant from national charity Heart Research UK.

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is responsible for over three million deaths a year worldwide and is frequently caused by lethal heart rhythm disturbances.

Researchers at the University of Leicester will carry out tests among patients across the UK to see which of those at risk of SCD would benefit from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) that delivers a shock to the heart when the rhythm becomes erratic and will potentially save lives.

The research will also investigate if ICDs are currently being given to the patients who need them. The aim of the project is to develop a simple and cost-effective electrocardiogram (ECG)-based test which can more accurately identify people who need ICDs.

Professor Andre Ng (pictured), from our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, who is leading the team based at Glenfield Hospital, said the research was ultimately aimed at developing technology that can more accurately predict sudden cardiac death in patients and save lives by directing the most appropriate treatment to them.

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