Back to Annual Report

1000th addition to the HiRO bank

Better understanding of underlying genetic mechanisms will lead to lives being saved.

Dinh Van Luu’s brother was just 39 years old when he suddenly died. Dinh remembers the family’s complete shock.

“My brother was very healthy, he was working, he was active, he had no signs or symptoms.” Then while they were still mourning, just a few months later, one of Dinh’s nephews had an eerily similar scare. He passed out for a few minutes and was rushed to the hospital with paramedics performing CPR.

Eventually, tests showed three family members, including his late brother, had Brugada syndrome, a heart rhythm disorder. Fortunately, Dinh is fine, but when St. Paul’s Hospital heart rhythm specialist Dr. Andrew Krahn asked him to take part in research, he didn’t hesitate. In July 2017, Dinh became the 1000th participant in BC to go on the local Hearts in Rhythm Organization (HiRO) Inherited Heart Rhythm registry, a research database and biobank that can be used to answer future questions by inherited heart rhythm researchers.

Dr. Krahn also manages three HiRO national registries and biobanks for blood samples from consenting research participants. These DNA samples are a valuable resource for local, national, and international studies with the goal of better understanding the underlying genetic mechanisms of inherited heart rhythm conditions.

It is estimated 45 British Columbians will die suddenly from heart disease each year, and up to a third of those will have a direct genetic explanation without evidence of structural heart disease. Nearly all are preventable, if detected and treated.