This medical video looks into the research being done to be able to pick up the early warning signs of sudden heart attacks.
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Jennifer Matthews: It takes a lot to keep David Carroll away from his favorite past time. But, a silent heart attack and a triple by-pass surgery did exactly that. David Carroll: I just was so afraid. I didn't do very much. Jennifer Matthews: Then he met Doctor Ted Chow, a Cardiac Electrophysiologist. David Carroll: He talked about the T-Wave Alternans study and the fact that it could help to determine whether you were, whether I was, a sudden death syndrome person. Dr. Ted Chow: Sudden cardiac death is really an unrecognized epidemic. It's the most common cause of death. Jennifer Matthews: The t-wave alternans test is similar toa stress test. The difference is, as you walk, the T-Wave Alternans machine analyzes the EKG. Clinical studies indicate a reading that shows a high level of alternans means the patient is at high risk for sudden cardiac death. Dr. Ted Chow: We've tested over a thousand patients because we have adopted this as a screening strategy for our patient population. Jennifer Matthews: The test worked for David. It showed he was at high risk. Now, he has a defibrillator. David Carroll: I don't go around worrying anymore. I can do all of the things that I want to do. Jennifer Matthews: Including work on his golf swing. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.