Some babies who suffer cot death have cardiomyopathy gene mutations

18th September 2015

A study of babies who died from sudden infant death syndrome showed one in six had gene mutations associated with cardiomyopathy.

Researchers investigated the death of 47 babies below the age of one using advanced genetic testing to look at 100 genes associated with the workings of the heart. This included looking at the genes associated with cardiomyopathy and the channelopathies, such as long QT syndrome and Brugada syndrome.

Eight (17%) of the babies had variants in genes affecting the channelopathies and eight had variants in genes associated with cardiomyopathies.

In total, one third of the babies had variants that may have contributed to the cause of death.

The Danish study, led by Christin Loeth Hertz from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Copenhagen, and reported in the European Journal of Human Genetics, did not look at family members for the disease.

The researchers concluded that analysis of genes associated with cardiac diseases in babies who die from sudden infant death syndrome is important and a valuable supplement to the clinical investigation in all cases of sudden death.