Inherited heart diseases affect thousands of people in the world. They are life-threatening conditions and has no age bar.
So far, diagnosing an inherited heart condition appeared to be a challenging one as it required testing of all family members for a prolonged period. But, still targeting a particular gene as the cause seemed to be tricky due to its vast variations.
Recently, the British Heart Foundation has developed a blood test to diagnose people with inherited heart conditions. The findings have been published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research.
Previously, a vast set of genes have to be analyzed to detect heart conditions and still only specific diseases can be diagnosed. The cost of these tests were higher and the process was also time consuming.
This new blood test has been developed by researchers from Imperial College London and the MRC Clinical Sciences Center. The test is already been carried out at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust in Middlesex, with around 40 patients per month being successfully tested.
Dr James Ware, a consultant cardiologist specializing in inherited heart conditions, said, "Without a genetic test we often have to keep the whole family under regular surveillance for many years. This is hugely costly for both the families and the health system."
"By contrast, when a genetic test reveals the precise genetic abnormality causing the condition in one member of the family, it becomes simple to test other family members. Those who do not carry the faulty gene copy can be reassured and spared countless hospital visits," he added.