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What is Sudden Cardiac Death and Definition
Sudden Cardiac Death – Unexpected, fatal CARDIAC ARREST (cessation of cardiac activity). Typically there are no warning signs of impending cardiovascular crisis. Electrical dysfunction is the most frequent cause of sudden cardiac death. In young people, ARRHYTHMIAdisorders such as LONG QT SYNDROME (LQTS) or WOLFF-PARKINSON-WHITE SYNDROME, or hereditary HEART conditions such as hypertrophic CARDIOMYOPATHY, are often to blame. Some health experts believe ELECTROCARDIOGRAM (ECG) should be a part of the athletic physical examination, as intense physical exertion can trigger electrical dysfunctions that result in death.
In people age 50 and older sudden cardiac death typically results from arrhythmia disorders, MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION, ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE (IHD) that is a consequence of CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE (CAD), and HEART FAILURE. Most people who experience sudden cardiac death were unaware they had CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE (CVD) or had been undergoing successful treatment to manage a particular cardiovascular condition such as HYPERTENSION. Because the event that causes cardiovascular collapse is generally catastrophic, resuscitative efforts tend to be unsuccessful.