An international team of researchers has identified a new gene that can lead to sudden death among young people and athletes. According to researchers, this newly identified gene, called CDH2, causes arrhythmogenic right ventricle cardiomyopathy (ARVC) – a genetic disorder that makes patients susceptible to cardiac arrest. It was also found that the gene CHD2 is responsible for the production of Cadherin 2 or N-Cadherin, “a key protein for normal adhesion between the cardiac cells.”
In ARVC, fatty and fibrous tissue supersedes the heart tissue, and this practice encourages the development of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat) such as tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and ventricular fibrillation (erratic heartbeat) that leads to loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest. The disease speeds up with intense physical activities. Researchers suggest anyone with the diseases, especially athletes, should avoid intensive sports if not screened carefully beforehand. The study was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.