CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A University of Virginia researcher has received a $14.4 million federal grant to lead a worldwide study of a genetic heart condition.
Dr. Christopher Kramer will work with Oxford University researcher Dr. Stefan Neubauer in studying hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Officials say the genetic condition characterized by the thickening of the heart muscle is the top killer of young athletes who die from sudden cardiac arrest.
The disorder is difficult to detect, as patients often show no symptoms until going into cardiac arrest. Some people with the disease are completely unaffected.
The Daily Progress reports that researchers plan to follow more than 2,700 patients in the U.S., Canada and Europe for five years. They'll be looking for genetic patterns and biomarkers indicating which patients are most at risk for cardiac arrest.
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