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From the Heart
July 2016

Saving Lives One at a Time

Author Affiliations
  • 1Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 2currently with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Division of Cardiology, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Cardiol. 2016;1(4):387-388. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.1113

The risk of sudden unexpected death in otherwise healthy-appearing people has always presented a perplexing paradox for both patients and physicians. “I just talked to him 1 hour ago, and he seemed perfectly normal.” “How could this happen?” or “She always took great care of herself, exercised regularly and ate healthy. How could this happen?” All physicians in the general practicing community have heard this, and the answers seem to lie largely with the inherent unpredictability of cardiac diseases and our imperfect ability to anticipate and prevent such events.1 When such a death occurs in a child or young adult, it seems even more counterintuitive and tragic.

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