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Data on benefits of screening for sudden cardiac death are withheld

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2208 (Published 20 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2208
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. The BMJ

An Italian researcher who led the only group that has shown that screening young people reduces sudden cardiac death has refused to share the group’s data with other researchers and England’s health secretary.

Italy is one of the few countries in the world where young people who take part in sports are obliged to be screened for cardiac disorders that may put them at risk of sudden cardiac death.

Last year the UK National Screening Committee recommended against use of a questionnaire and electrocardiography to screen young people because the tests were not accurate enough to correctly identify conditions that could lead to sudden cardiac death without wrongly identifying many people with healthy hearts.

The debate over this type of screening was thrust into the spotlight last week after the England and Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor was …

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