England cricketer James Taylor diagnosed with inherited heart condition

11 April 2016        

James Taylor, England cricket player, signs autograph.

The Nottinghamshire and England cricket player, James Taylor, has today announced his early retirement after being diagnosed with the inherited heart condition Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC). 

What is ARVC?

ARVC is a rare inherited heart condition caused by a change or mutation in one or more genes and affects the heart muscle cells that make up the heart. Up to 64,000 people in the UK are estimated to have a faulty gene which can lead to the condition. ARVC can cause abnormal heart rhythms because the heart’s normal electrical impulses are disrupted as they pass through the areas of damaged and scarred muscle cells.

Our Genetic Information Service (GIS) can provide you with information if someone in your family has been diagnosed with or has died from what is suspected to be an inherited heart condition.

Exercise and ARVC

ARVC can be exacerbated by higher levels of physical activity, so these people may be advised to restrict what they do by their specialist. 

Other types of cardiomyopathy, like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, can also be worsened by high levels of physical activity.  Read more about cardiomyopathies here.

Signs and treatment

“ARVC can cause abnormal and sometimes dangerous heart rhythms. Tragically, the first sign that the condition is present can be when someone has a sudden cardiac arrest, which can strike at any age,” said Christopher Allen, our Senior Cardiac Nurse.

He added, “There is currently no cure for ARVC, but it can be managed using medications and procedures, allowing many people to live a relatively normal life.”

Research 

We are leading the way in funding research into potentially deadly conditions like ARVC. Thanks to our research, we now know many of the genes that cause these potentially deadly conditions. Early diagnosis through genetic testing is vital to ensure people and diagnosed and started on life saving treatment.

In February this year, we announced a new genetic blood test that can detect all known mutations in the genes that can cause inherited heart conditions like ARVC. 

We need to fund more research to improve diagnosis and treatment of conditions like ARVC. Help us to continue funding life saving research.

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