The reality behind our campaign


Every week in the UK 12 young people aged 35 or under die suddenly from a cardiac arrest. They seem healthy and their families often have no warning, no idea there is anything wrong with them, until one day their hearts suddenly stop beating. Inherited heart conditions, often hidden and undiagnosed, are the most common cause of these young deaths.

Each child of someone with an inherited heart condition can have a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the faulty gene causing the condition. For many families, the first sign of any problem is when someone dies very suddenly. This was the shocking reality for the family of Chanel-Lee, who died aged 16 from an inherited heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

The vital need for research

BHF-funded research has helped to discover many of the faulty genes that cause inherited heart conditions. And we’ve helped translate this research in the lab into genetic tests in clinics, where they can help families who are at the greatest risk of some of these conditions.

Read about the work of BHF Professor Hugh Watkins who has pioneered a genetic test for HCM. This test helped save 12 year-old Owen’s life, and the lives of others in his family.

But the fight is not yet won. We need to keep funding more research to beat heart disease for good. We can only do this with your help. 

Support for you

If you’ve lost somebody to heart disease, we're here to help:

If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with a heart condition and are worried about what the future holds, we can help: