The genetics of sudden cardiac death

Dan E. Arking, Nona Sotoodehnia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Sudden cardiac death (SCD), a sudden pulseless condition due to cardiac arrhythmia, remains a major public health problem despite recent progress in the treatment and prevention of overall coronary heart disease. In this review, we examine the evidence for genetic susceptibility to SCD in order to provide biological insight into the pathogenesis of this devastating disease and to explore the potential for genetics to impact clinical management of SCD risk. Both candidate gene approaches and unbiased genome-wide scans have identified novel biological pathways contributing to SCD risk. Although risk stratification in the general population remains an elusive goal, several studies point to the potential utility of these common genetic variants in high-risk individuals. Finally, we highlight novel methodological approaches to deciphering the molecular mechanisms involved in arrhythmogenesis. Although further epidemiological and clinical applications research is needed, it is increasingly clear that genetic approaches are yielding important insights into SCD that may impact the public health burden imposed by SCD and its associated outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-239
Number of pages17
JournalAnnual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • GWAS
  • QRS interval
  • QT interval
  • arrhythmia
  • association studies
  • electrophysiology
  • ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'The genetics of sudden cardiac death'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this