Study offers new insights into predicting sudden cardiac death

24 August 2016

Predicting sudden cardiac death (SCD) could become easier following a new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The team examined data from 17,884 adults aged 45 and older with no history of cardiovascular disease, looking at demographics, clinical and laboratory data to see if they could gain any insights into new ways of predicting SCD.

A total of 12 independent risk markers were derived from this analysis, allowing the researchers to produce the first ever SCD-specific prediction model to be developed and validated.

Of particular note was the fact that low left ventricular ejection fractions - traditionally seen as the primary marker for identifying high-risk individuals - was present in only one percent of participants and did not actually prove useful in SCD risk prediction.

Rajat Deo, an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "Our findings provide a strong step toward distinguishing SCD risk across the general population and can help target future strategies at SCD prevention for the highest risk subgroups of the general population."

SCD occurs unexpectedly with few warning signs, most commonly among those without a history of cardiovascular disease, meaning there is a great need for better predictive tools.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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