Archive - Nov 6, 2012

Archive - Nov 6, 2012


Most Sudden Cardiac Deaths in Young People Do Not Occur During Sports

Toronto, ON -- About three-quarters of sudden cardiac deaths in people under age 40 occur in the home—not in the sports arena or on the playing field—according to a study presented here at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2012.

Researchers investigated the incidence of sudden cardiac death in two- to 40-year-olds living in Ontario in 2008. They found that most deaths occurred in men (76%) aged 18 to 40 (90%).

Study author and scientific chair of the CCC, Dr Andrew Krahn (University of British Columbia, Vancouver), said three key messages emerge from the data.

"First, it gives us . . . a sense of the scope of the problem," he noted. "Our best estimate is that about 500 young people under the age of 40 die suddenly from heart disease every year in Canada."

ICDs Can Reduce Risk of Death in Youth with HCM

LOS ANGELES -- A multicenter registry has demonstrated that the use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can combat sudden cardiac death in high-risk pediatric patients suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The study was presented Nov. 5 at the 2012 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (AHA) in Los Angeles.

While the study found that the rate of possible device complications adds a level of complexity to this age group, it also demonstrated that life-saving ICD interventions were common in younger patients when terminating irregular heart rhythms, called ventricular tachyarrhythmias or fibrillation.

Small Change in Defibrillator Therapy Leads to Huge Benefits for Heart Patients

Survival Climbs, Risk of Unnecessary Shocks Plummets in New Study 

ROCHESTER, NY -- A new study shows that defibrillators – devices designed to detect and correct dangerous heart rhythms – can help people with heart disease live longer, and with a much better quality of life, than they do now.

A small, very simple change in the way physicians set or programmed the device led to a dramatic 80 to 90 percent reduction in inappropriate therapies – potentially painful and anxiety-provoking shocks delivered for rhythms that aren’t dangerous or life threatening. And, to the authors’ surprise, the new programming also significantly increased survival, lowering the risk of death by 55 percent compared to patients whose devices used traditional programming. This reduction is above and beyond the usual decrease in mortality associated with defibrillator therapy, leading to an overall 70 percent reduction in death.

CPR Training Rates Lowest in Rural Areas and Southern Region of U.S.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of natural death in the United States. Organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross regularly offer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training across the country, as bystander CPR can save the life of someone experiencing SCA.

A new study was the first to identify the CPR training rates across the country on a county-by-county basis. DCRI fellow Monique Anderson, MD, presented the findings during the 2012 AHA Scientific Sessions. The presentation also won a Council Award for best resuscitation abstract. Dr. Anderson received the award Tuesday at the 3CPR Annual Council Dinner.

The researchers combined data on CPR training from the AHA and the Red Cross with county demographic and geographic information to map out areas of low, medium, and high concentrations of people trained in CPR.

Cooling Cardiac Arrest Patients to Lower Body Temps Improved Survival

Study Highlights:

  • Cooling resuscitated cardiac arrest patients to lower body temperatures may be associated with a better chance of survival and greater functional ability after recovery.

  • Four times as many patients survived cardiac arrest without serious cognitive impairment six months after being cooled to 89.6F/32C compared to those who were cooled to 93.2F/34C.

  • Larger studies are needed to determine whether the improved outcome is related to the decreased temperature.

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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