Dr Hamish Maclachlan – Sudden cardiac deaths in young adults

On May 11 we hosted the first CRY Family Research Day, giving some of our supporters a chance to learn more about the massive impact of our research. 

CRY Research Fellow Dr Hamish Maclachlan spoke, giving an overview about our understanding of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) in young adults. In particular, he challenged the National Screening Committee’s (NSC) reasoning for its recommendation against universal screening for sudden cardiac death in young people.

On the NSC’s reasoning of the low frequency of sudden cardiac death in young adults, Dr Maclachlan challenged their figure of 1 in 300,000 individuals experiencing SCD per year as “very misleading”, saying SCD is “the leading cause of non-accidental deaths in young athletes”. He noted the variation in studies of the frequency rate ranging from the SCD’s 1 in 300,000 to other studies finding it to be 1 in 22,000.

On the NSC’s reasoning of the poor performance of the proposed tools used for screening, Dr Maclachlan spoke about his work in developing a novel health questionnaire for cardiac screenings, as well as “the development of contemporary ECG criteria that has driven the rates of false positives down”.