A NATIONAL charity is launching a campaign to find ways to stop young people dying from heart disease.

The British Heart Foundation says 80,000 people in the south-east could be living with a faulty gene that puts them at high risk of developing heart disease or dying suddenly at a young age.

And the Fight for Every Heartbeat campaign is supporting research into the inherited condition to find ways to prevent this.

Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF, said: “We urgently need to accelerate research into inherited heart conditions.

“Over recent years researchers have made great strides in identifying some of the genes that cause inherited heart conditions. A genetic test in a child of an affected parent can save their life. More research is now urgently needed to identify all the genes responsible for these deadly disorders.

“Pinpointing genes which cause inherited heart conditions will allow affected children to be protected and, in the long term, will lead to new treatments to overcome the effects of the faulty gene.”

The BHF estimates around 600 seemingly healthy people under the age of 35 die suddenly from heart failure without explanation.

For more details on the campaign visit bhf.org.uk/fight.