Notorious for striking young athletes, new research shows that sudden cardiac arrests occur when people aren’t exercising at all. Rather than precipitating a fatal sudden cardiac arrest, exercise is not always part of the equation.
At the 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress which took place in late October, a study presented reviewed 174 coroners’ reports involving sudden cardiac death in victims between the ages of 2 and 40. An astounding 72% of deaths occurred at a household and 74% had no prior indication of fatal heart conditions. This is in stark contrast to the preconceived notion that these terrible incidences are more common place on the sports field rather than off.
Co-author of the study, Dr. Andrew Krahn who heads the division of cardiology at the University of British Columbia, blames news reports as to why his study may come as a shock to many. A high school sports star suffering a sudden cardiac arrest is going to receive news coverage where as a high school student who isn’t a star athlete and suffering the same cardiac arrest won’t.
3 Take-home Messages:
Not just young athletes are susceptible to a potentially fatal sudden cardiac arrest. Dr. Krahn’s research sheds new light on the myth that sudden cardiac deaths regularly occur during vigorous exercise. What should be a major consideration gleaned from the study is that more needs to be done in order to prevent these potentially fatal attacks.
- Know how to promptly and appropriately perform CPR.
- Know the signs of a sudden cardiac arrest to quickly assess the situation and take needed action.
- Consider testing. Simple and inexpensive options are available to detect heart irregularities.
Education and preparedness are key tools in helping spread sudden cardiac awareness and increasing the likelihood of survival should one occur.