Coroners 'should tell bereaved families to get screened'

Coroners could help save the lives of hundreds of people by telling bereaved family members to get themselves screened for inherited heart conditions, a charity has said.

New guidance which calls on coroners in England and Wales to recommend that family members of those who die of genetic heart conditions get themselves a check-up could "save hundreds of lives", the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said.

The heart charity said a death in the family can sometimes be the first time people find out about an inherited ailment, yet even after such deaths family members do not always get themselves screened.

It said that every year in the UK around 600 people under the age of 35 die suddenly, with no apparent explanation or cause, and many of these deaths are due to an inherited heart condition.