Men at Twice the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death as Women
Written by Editor   
Monday, August 08, 2016 12:00 AM

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a leading cause of death in the US. Research suggests that the burden in terms of years of potential life lost because of SCD exceeds that of any type of cancer, another leading cause of death in the US. However, patients with obvious cardiac symptoms are the “tip of the iceberg.” Asymptomatic individuals have the greatest risk for SCD. Currently no effective means exist for early identification of those at risk for SCD. 

However, a new study is the first to determine lifetime risk for SCD, as well as the first to look at the impact of well-known risk factors on lifetime risk.  Their findings demonstrate that men have at least twice the risk of dying from SCD as women do, at all ages, according to results from the long-running Framingham Heart Study published June 29, 2016 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.  Results also showed that those with more cardiovascular risk factors, as well as those with elevated blood pressure (BP) alone, had an increased risk for SCD.

“The message conveyed by a study of this magnitude provides significant insight into the cumulative effect of multiple risk factors over a lifetime for the most serious cardiovascular event—sudden cardiac death,” said one commentator.  “The main contribution of this study is highlighting how large the burden of sudden cardiac death is, particularly in men,” said another.