Brugada syndrome is a very rare condition that causes the heart rhythm to become irregular. This irregularity causes the flow of sodium ions in the heart cells to be restricted. Although the structure of the heart is not affected, the flow of electrical impulses through the heart is disrupted, leading to potentially life-threatening, abnormal rhythms. Continue reading to learn brugada life expectancy.
Brugada syndrome is thought to be inherited and occurs primarily in young men of South East Asian descent. It is not a commonly encountered condition in the western world.
Brugada syndrome presents with a number of different symptoms including:
In cases where prompt medical attention is not available, a sufferer may go into cardiac arrest if CPR is not performed.
Brugada syndrome can be notoriously difficult to diagnose. Your doctor will refer you to hospital for an ECG. Variances in the ECG waveform that usually characterize Brugada syndrome can present continuously, not at all or just intermittently.
If no variances are shown on your ECG, you may be given an injection of a drug to provoke the waveform changes that are characteristic of Brugada syndrome while your heart rhythm is being monitored. Unfortunately, these tests cannot always be relied upon as conclusive evidence of Brugada syndrome and may need to be repeated several times.
If you are diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, your GP may refer you for genetic tests in order to screen you for inherited mutated genes that may be responsible for causing the condition. Following a test result showing a positive mutation, all your family members will be encouraged to attend for testing in order to establish if they also carry the defective gene.
If you have had a cardiac arrest as a result of Brugada syndrome or if you are exhibiting symptoms of the disease, your risk of complications is high. In this case, your doctor may recommend that you have an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) fitted. An ICD is a small device that is implanted into your chest or abdomen. The ICD uses electrical impulses to help control the arrhythmias caused by Brugada syndrome, preventing the symptoms, and reducing the risk of cardiac arrest.
When you have an ECG, if the results are abnormal but you are not presenting with any of the symptoms of Brugada syndrome, an electrophysiological (EP) study may be carried out to help your doctor decide whether to recommend that you have an ICD fitted. If you don’t suffer from blackouts or palpitations, it is unlikely that you will need an ICD, because your risk of cardiac arrest is low.
It should be noted that a high temperature can sometimes skew the results of your ECG. If you think that you are running a fever on the day of your ECG, you should take ibuprofen or paracetamol to lower it, unless you have been advised otherwise by your doctor.
Life with Brugada syndrome can be relatively normal and you should be able to enjoy a normal life expectancy. However, there are a few things that you should be aware of.
If you don’t have an ICD fitted, you may have to take medication for the rest of your life to control your heart rhythm. You should not take over-the-counter medicines without first checking with your doctor that it is safe to do so. Some medication can interfere with the drugs you are already taking or may induce your symptoms.
If you suffer from a prolonged attack of diarrhea or vomiting (more than one day) you should seek medical advice. Your sodium and potassium levels can be affected by these conditions which could cause problems with your heart rhythm. Your doctor will prescribe you oral rehydration supplements to correct the imbalance.
When attending medical staff for any reason, you should always tell them that you have Brugada syndrome.
Concluding brugada syndrome life expectancy: Brugada syndrome is a hereditary condition that affects the heart rhythm. If you are in the high-risk group or any members of your family have been diagnosed, always seek medical advice.
When correctly diagnosed, Brugada syndrome should not stop you living a normal life and will not impact on a normal life expectancy.