Sunday, 1 September 2013

Chimps Suffer Same Heart Condition That Kills Young Athletes

In chimpanzees, researchers have identified the same hidden heart disease that has been blamed for the sudden deaths of basketball players, soccer players and other young athletes on the field.

The rare, often inherited condition, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), is characterized by a buildup of fatty and fibrous scar tissue on part of the heart. It can cause irregular heart rhythms and lead to sudden cardiac arrest during strenuous physical activity in otherwise healthy people. It typically doesn't have any symptoms and disproportionately affects men.

In a first, researchers spotted signs of the disease during the autopsies of two juvenile chimpanzee half-brothers that had been living at a zoo in the United Kingdom.

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