30 June 2016
A new study has demonstrated the high lifetime risk of sudden cardiac death in men, underlining the potential need for new screening strategies.
Researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago examined long-term data from more than 5,200 men and women aged 28 to 62 who were free of cardiovascular disease at the time of their enrollment in the Framingham Heart Study.
Sudden cardiac death occurred in 375 people during the follow-up period, with an overall 10.9 per cent lifetime risk seen among men at age 45, compared to only 2.8 per cent for women.
High blood pressure alone or a combination of other cardiovascular risk factors was associated with higher lifetime risk of sudden cardiac death, with blood pressure proving a more accurate predictor than any other single risk factor.
The condition is hard to monitor, since most victims do not have a history of heart problems. This underlines a possible need for a new approach to screening.
Dr Donald Lloyd-Jones, senior study author and chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said: "These numbers should raise a red flag. We often screen for conditions that are less common and much less deadly than sudden cardiac death."
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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