It is important to be aware that the causes of SCD are different in those under 35 years of age compared to those over 35 years of age. Most deaths in people aged 35 or under are due to hereditary conditions affecting heart muscle and the electrical system of the heart. These abnormalities may be identified with ECG and echocardiography.
Above the age of 35, by far the commonest cause of sudden death is coronary artery disease. Whilst screening with ECG and Echo in the over 35s may be useful for exclusion of many inherited heart conditions associated with SCD, it will not identify acquired coronary artery disease. Therefore additional more detailed tests will also be recommended for the over 35 age group.