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Current UK NSC recommendations > Sudden Cardiac Death

The UK NSC recommendation on screening to prevent Sudden Cardiac Death in 12 to 39 year olds

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed December 2019
Next review due in 2022/23
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Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

The UK NSC does not currently recommend screening for cardiac conditions
associated with sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the young. The reasons behind this decision are detailed in the plain english summary document, which can be found above.

More about Sudden Cardiac Death

SCD is the sudden and unexpected death of a person caused by a problem with their heart. The causes in people under the age of 39 are often a thickening of the heart muscle or an electrical problem with the heart. In older people, SCD is more likely to be caused by a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart. The effects of SCD can have a devastating impact on the affected individual and on the wider communities in which the families and friends live and work. At the moment there is guidance on testing family members of people at risk of SCD. Effective implementation of this guidance through a targeted screening programme may help prevent SCD in some groups of people who are at high risk.


British Cardiovascular Society
British Congenital Cardiac Association
British Heart Foundation
Cardiac Risk in The Young
Cardio & Vascular Coalition
Cardiomyopathy UK
Children's Heart Federation
Circulation Foundation
Faculty of Public Health
Institute of Child Health
The Oliver King Foundation
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Nursing
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome UK (SADS UK)
Welsh Hearts

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Evidence summary- sudden cardiac death (2014) (PDF document, 713KB, 11/12/19)

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