There are certain symptoms and certain situations that should be taken seriously in young people. One of the major problems is that young people are perceived as the healthiest segment of our society and this perception is not incorrect. Many people feel that young people aged 20 or less are invincible and are very unlikely to die from a cardiac problem. However, the following symptoms are ominous, these include chest pain on exertion, breathlessness that is disproportionate to the amount of exercise being performed, dizziness during exertion, blackouts without warning – these are all ominous symptoms.
The second important thing is that most conditions that cause sudden death in young people are hereditary and therefore a family history of cardiac disease or sudden cardiac death in a first degree family member aged 40 or less should be taken seriously. My recommendation to General Practitioners who are dealing with young people who exhibit any of these symptoms or a family history such as the one I’ve just alluded to, I would recommend referral to a cardiac expert to ensure that all is well before providing reassurance.