Research & Studies
To date, no one truly knows the devastating impact that Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is having on our nation’s youth. In order to engage increased support for research initiatives that lead to improved and cost-effective methods for the early detection of heart conditions, treatments and devices, there must be improved data collection. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to establish a systematic and mandatory reporting of sudden cardiac deaths (SCDs) in youth by credible sources such as medical facilities, medical examiners and coroners to a central national database of SCD in youth, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most studies thus far conducted on SCA in youth have been based on different criteria; they have, therefore, produced various results. Below is a sample of those results:
- Up to 7,000 young people suffer SCA annually according to the Pediatric Clinics of North America Journal # 1999; 46(2):221-234
- 2,504 youth under the age of 24, with over half between the ages of 15 - 24, died of heart disease in 2002 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their latest report. These deaths do not include SCDs due to impact to the chest or SCDs secondary to causes such as lightning, heatstroke, asthma, etc.
- An estimated 14,000 children and infants die annually from SCD according to the Heart Rhythm Society, May 2004.
- Approximately 300 SCDs between the ages of 15 – 35 are reported annually by The National Registry of Sudden Death in Athletes.
- Approximately 100 - 150 SCDs of youth, primarily between the ages of 3 – 25, are reported annually by Parent Heart Watch. These SCDs are recorded using information obtained from Parent Heart Watch members and online articles.
Very little research has been conducted thus far which has actually led to improved early detection of heart conditions that can lead to SCA in youth. Some physicians are now taking a closer look at improved preventative measures by means of heart screening or genetic counseling. More research and support of this type will help lead to improved quality and cost-effective cardiac care for youth and help reduce the number of young lives lost to SCA each year.
Parent Heart Watch strongly supports improved data collection and research initiatives. If you are interested in facilitating research initiatives that address SCA in youth, please contact Parent Heart Watch.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Cardiac Center Research
Molecular Genetics Program at Masonic Medical Research Laboratory