Some people with LQTS have no symptoms while others experience:
- A fast, irregular heartbeat
LQTS is rare, occurring in approximately one in 5,000 people. Since not everyone with LQTS has a dangerous heart rhythm or other symptoms, the team of experienced cardiologists at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute are skilled at recognizing this syndrome on an electrocardiogram.
Causes and Risk Factors
LQTS may be inherited or can be caused by certain medications. Hereditary LQTS is classified according to whether one or two parents have the defective gene, though not necessarily the condition. Two forms of inherited LQTS are:
- Romano-Ward syndrome, which occurs when people inherit one defective gene.
- Jervell & Lange-Nielsen syndrome, which is seen in children who are born deaf and inherit other genetic mutations found in LQTS.
Many people experience an irregular heartbeat during or after exercise, during emotional excitement or upon awakening suddenly. If the heartbeat does not return to normal quickly, the person’s risk of sudden death increases because the heart may be unable to pump blood effectively throughout the body. If the arrhythmia lasts more than a few minutes, call 9-1-1 for emergency treatment.
Risk factors may include:
- Blood relatives with the condition: It is recommended that family members of all ages get tested to determine if the gene or condition is present.
- Medications: Some medications are known to increase the risk of an arrhythmia. Check with your doctor about the medications and supplements you take and before starting any new medications or supplements.