CRY Chief Executive Steven Cox Calls for Government to Create a National Strategy for the Prevention of Young Cardiac Deaths

Politics Home, 8th July 2019

Following the recent ‘drop in’ event at Portcullis House, attended by 50 MPs, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) Chief Executive Dr Steven Cox urges all MPs to aid CRY in its campaign for government to establish a national strategy for the prevention of young cardiac death. Currently, every week in the UK, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people aged 14-35 die suddenly of undiagnosed heart conditions. Many of these deaths could be prevented, as MP and Chair of the CRY All-Party-Parliamentary-Group Kevan Jones states: “Sudden cardiac death is a terrible tragedy to be inflicted upon any family, and one that can be prevented by giving every young person the opportunity to have their hearts tested.”

CRY believes screening is vitally important, currently screening around 30,000 young people a year and having screened over 190,000 since the screening programme was first launched in 1995. However, the event at Portcullis House coincided with recent news that the National Screening Committee (NSC) is about to release a revised consultation document which will recommend against screening for the risk of sudden cardiac death in the young. In response to this Dr Steven Cox states:

“I therefore must reiterate that whilst progress is being made to save young lives, this latest NSC consultation document is very disappointing. It FAILS to demonstrate the impact of young sudden cardiac deaths on our society and does not objectively evaluate the overlap between the current routine use of the ECG in the NHS / medical practice for general diagnostics and monitoring, and its role in cardiac screening. Furthermore, it FAILS to stress that 1 in 300 people screened have a cardiac condition that can benefit from treatment or lifestyle advice. As a progressive society it cannot be acceptable that WE FAIL to act in response to the horrendous impact these conditions have on the family, friends and fabric of our local communities when left undiagnosed.” Read More