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      Sudden Cardiac Death: Epidemiology, Causes, and Mechanisms

      Cardiology

      S. Karger AG

      Sudden death, Coronary heart disease, Ventricular fibrillation, Cardiac arrest

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          Abstract

          In the United States, more than 300,000 sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) occur each year, the most common underlying etiology of which is coronary heart disease (CHD). With increasing age, the proportion of cardiovascular causes among all natural sudden deaths increases, and the fraction of CHD deaths that are sudden decreases. The lower incidence of coronary atherosclerosis in women is reflected in their proportionately lower risk of SCD. There are no data suggesting specific hereditary factors in risk for SCD due to CHD. On an individual basis, the known risk factors for CHD cannot distinguish those at risk for SCD from those at risk for other manifestations of CHD. Pathologic studies of SCD victims have shown that extensive coronary atherosclerosis is a major marker; healed myocardial infarction is a common finding, as is myocardial hypertrophy. Nonatherosclerotic coronary artery abnormalities may be associated with SCD. Chronic congestive heart failure is a common cause of SCD. Other etiologies include inflammatory, infiltrative, neoplastic and degenerative processes, diseases of the cardiac valves, and primary electrophysiologic abnormalities. The largest group of prehospital cardiac arrest victims have ventricular fibrillation identified on initial contact, with their survival outcome being intermediate between patients with ventricular tachycardia (best outcome) and those with bradyarrhythmia or asystole (worst outcome) on initial contact.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          CRD
          Cardiology
          10.1159/issn.0008-6312
          Cardiology
          S. Karger AG
          978-3-8055-4629-4
          978-3-318-01764-9
          0008-6312
          1421-9751
          1987
          1987
          11 November 2008
          : 74
          : Suppl 2
          : 2-9
          Affiliations
          Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla., USA
          Article
          174281 Cardiology 1987;74:2–9
          10.1159/000174281
          3621277
          © 1987 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 8
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