28,000 may have faulty heart genes in Wales, says BHF

An estimated 28,000 people in Wales could be living with faulty genes says a charity which has called for more research into inherited heart complaints.

British Heart Foundation Cymru (BHF) said about 30 people under 35 die unexpectedly of cardiac-related problems in Wales each year.

It wants studies to identify the genes.

BHF said it could protect children from unknown conditions and provide new treatments.

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Media captionRachel Rowlands passed on a genetic defect to her children

The charity claims previous estimates by science researchers the PHG Foundation that up to 18,000 people in Wales could be living with undiscovered faulty genes, may be inaccurate due to under-diagnosis.

It said people with inherited heart conditions could pass them on to children, and its Fight for Every Heartbeat campaign aims to highlight the problem.

Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF, said: "We urgently need to accelerate research into inherited heart conditions.

"Over recent years researchers have made great strides in identifying some of the genes that cause inherited heart conditions.

"A genetic test in a child of an affected parent can save their life. More research is now urgently needed to identify all the genes responsible for these deadly disorders."

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