Save the Life of a Child during Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

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The symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy are often dismissed, and the condition remains undiagnosed, until a young person experiences a cardiac arrest resulting in death. HCMA and GeneDx team up to identify kids at risk of HCM.

We've all seen the news headlines about young, school-aged athletes collapsing on the field or court and dying unexpectedly of a heart attack. In many instances, this is due to an undiagnosed heart defect called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Recognizing the early signs of HCM in your child or another young person could save a life.

The nonprofit Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association (HCMA, and Gene Dx (, a division of BioReference Laboratories (, have teamed up to provide a simple survey to help identify those at risk for conditions that can cause sudden cardiac arrest in the young, defined as those under the age of 50.

During the month of October, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, GeneDx will donate $1 to HCMA for every survey completed, up to a total of $4,000.

The on-line survey, which is available on the HCMA website at asks simple questions about patient and family history. If the user answers yes to one or more questions, he or she is encouraged to share the survey results with their physician who will determine if diagnostic testing is necessary. The survey takes just a few minutes and can be completed anonymously.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in the young. HCM is a genetic disease that causes the muscles of the heart to thicken and it is the most common of all genetic heart conditions, affecting more than 1 in 500 people in the general population, and an estimated one million people in the United States.

Often, tragically, the symptoms of HCM are dismissed, and the condition remains undiagnosed, until a patient experiences a cardiac arrest resulting in death.

According to Sherri Bale, Ph.D., Managing Director of GeneDx, “Based on diagnostic test results and family history, a doctor may also recommend genetic testing to determine if the patient has an inherited cardiac condition that puts that patient at higher risk of developing HCM or other cardiac conditions.” She explained that screening of additional family members would be recommended for people who receive a positive genetic diagnosis.

According to the HCMA, most people diagnosed with HCM enjoy a normal lifespan with high quality of life. A doctor can discuss specific recommendations for medical care and therapies, as well as family screening.

For more information about Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, visit For additional information about genetic testing for HCM and other inherited disorders, visit

About Bio-Reference Laboratories Inc. and GeneDx
BRLI is the fourth largest full service laboratory in the United States, primarily a clinical testing laboratory servicing physician offices with concentrations in the focused markets of esoteric testing, molecular diagnostics, anatomical pathology, women's health and correctional health care. GeneDx, a wholly owned subsidiary, is the BRLI genetics laboratory and is typically recognized as the leading laboratory for testing of rare genetic diseases.

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Karen Maurer

Karen Maurer
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