New symposium focuses on why some people’s hearts stop without warning

The scientific mystery of why people’s hearts can stop without warning will be the focus of a three-day symposium of local and international researchers in Victoria beginning today.

Sudden cardiac arrest remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of heart health with more than 2000 Australian victims under the age of 50 each year.

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It is a medical emergency that can lead to death. With less than 10% of people surviving a cardiac arrest, there is much to be done in prevention and early treatment.

The International Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Sports Symposium to be held in Lorne, Victoria, this weekend will shine a much-needed light on the latest research into sudden cardiac arrest and showcase the human impact of the condition on the lives of survivors and the families of those who succumb to sudden cardiac death.

The Symposium has attracted experts from around the world to share their expertise on how we can prevent cardiac arrests with local health experts, interest groups and people with lived experience.

Lead organiser, Associate Professor André La Gerche, said it was an extraordinary gathering that showed the genuine interest and passion of the sector to come together to solve the mysteries of sudden cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest remains one of the toughest nuts to crack in terms of why and how it happens.

Seemingly healthy young people including athletes can, and do, suffer sudden cardiac arrests without warning. Typical heart risk factors aimed at preventing cholesterol build up in the artery are not so applicable to cardiac arrests. Local data shows that two-thirds of victims have no warning and no risk factors.

By sharing the latest knowledge and human stories with each other we hope to continue to advance our understanding of what we can do to help athletes and non-athletes alike avoid a tragic and sudden cardiac death.”

André La Gerche, Associate Professor, Lead Organiser.

The conference is being collaboratively organised by the National Centre for Sports Cardiology and the Australian Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the Alliance (AuSCAA).


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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