Obesity, other risks play large role in sudden cardiac arrest among the young

February 12, 2018, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Obesity and other common cardiovascular risk factors may play a greater role in sudden cardiac arrest among younger people than previously recognized, underscoring the importance of earlier screening, a Cedars-Sinai study has found.

While sports activity often garners attention in cases of sudden cardiac in younger patients, it was cited only in a small percentage of those ages 5 to 34 in the study, published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Instead, investigators found an unexpectedly high prevalence of standard among the young who suffered from sudden cardiac arrest, a disorder that can cause instantaneous . Combinations of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking were found in nearly 60 percent of cases studied.

The findings shed light on a public health problem among the young that has remained largely unsolved.

"One of the revelations of this study is that risk factors such as obesity may play a much larger role for the young who die from sudden cardiac arrest than previously known," said Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and lead researcher for the study.

Chugh suggested extending prevention efforts to routine preventive visits for children and young adults.

"The added benefit of such screenings is that early efforts to reduce cardiovascular risk are known to translate into reduction of adult cardiovascular disease," he said.

The findings come from the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study. Chugh headed the comprehensive, 16-hospital, multiyear assessment of cardiac deaths in the Portland metropolitan area, home to 1 million people. Data collected in the study provided Chugh and his team with unique, community-based information to mine for answers to what causes sudden cardiac arrest.

Although "" and " attack" often are used interchangeably, the terms are not synonymous. Sudden cardiac arrest is the result of defective electrical activity of the heart. Patients may have little or no warning, and the disorder usually causes instantaneous death. A heart attack—myocardial infarction—typically is caused by clogged coronary arteries that reduce blood flow to the heart muscle.

Explore further: Study links sex hormone levels in the blood to risk of sudden cardiac arrest

Related Stories

Study links sex hormone levels in the blood to risk of sudden cardiac arrest

September 2, 2014
Measuring the levels of sex hormones in patients' blood may identify patients likely to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest, a heart rhythm disorder that is fatal in 95 percent of patients.

African-Americans face twice the rate of sudden cardiac arrest, compared to Caucasians

July 20, 2015
Compared to Caucasians, African-Americans face twice the rate of sudden cardiac arrest, according to a new study from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

Health insurance expansion linked to fewer sudden cardiac arrests

June 28, 2017
The incidence of sudden cardiac arrest, a sudden and usually deadly loss of heart function, declined significantly among previously uninsured adults who acquired health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known ...

Medical first: Discovery of warning symptoms for usually fatal heart rhythm malfunction

December 21, 2015
More than half of patients who have a sudden cardiac arrest ignore symptoms occurring up to a month prior to the usually fatal heart rhythm malfunction even though medical intervention potentially could save their lives, ...

Team develops risk assessment score to predict, help prevent sudden cardiac arrest

June 26, 2017
A Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute investigator and his team have developed a new risk assessment tool that brings physicians closer to predicting who is most likely to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest, a condition that is fatal ...

Research shows low chance of sudden cardiac arrest after sex

November 12, 2017
A small percentage of sudden cardiac arrest events are related to sexual activity, but survival rates in those cases remain low, according to a research letter published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology ...

Recommended for you

Beetroot juice supplements may help certain heart failure patients

February 22, 2018
Beetroot juice supplements may help enhance exercise capacity in patients with heart failure, according to a new proof-of-concept study. Exercise capacity is a key factor linked to these patients' quality of life and even ...

Heart researchers develop a new, promising imaging technique for cardiac arrhythmias

February 22, 2018
Every five minutes in Germany alone, a person dies of sudden cardiac arrest or fibrillation, the most common cause of death worldwide. This is partly due to the fact that doctors still do not fully understand exactly what ...

Scientists use color-coded tags to discover how heart cells develop

February 22, 2018
UCLA researchers used fluorescent colored proteins to trace how cardiomyocytes—cells in heart muscle that enable it to pump blood—are produced in mouse embryos. The findings could eventually lead to methods for regenerating ...

'Beetroot pill' could help save patients from kidney failure after heart X-ray

February 22, 2018
Beetroot may reduce the risk of kidney failure in patients having a heart x-ray, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London.

Women once considered low risk for heart disease show evidence of previous heart attack scars

February 20, 2018
Women who complain about chest pain often are reassured by their doctors that there is no reason to worry because their angiograms show that the women don't have blockages in the major heart arteries, a primary cause of heart ...

Can your cardiac device be hacked?

February 20, 2018
Medical devices, including cardiovascular implantable electronic devices could be at risk for hacking. In a paper publishing online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Cardiology's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.