What is Sudden Death? People nowadays are more critical yet still not knowing much about medical or medical term in the medics problem. The term that I want to bring up right now is about sudden death. People said the sudden death was someone who experienced an unexplained condition before death, or death while they’re sleeping.
From American Heart Association journal, sudden death has come into the focus of the discussion on ischemic heart disease (IHD). At the present time, the meaning of the attribute “sudden” in this context is subject to considerable variation, ranging from death occurring within a few minutes to death within 24 hours2 of the onset of acute symptoms.
In adults, the most common cause of sudden death is coronary heart disease or defects in the cardiac conduction system3 however there are some cause of sudden death is not from cardiac problems.
Data from Open Heart Journal in North Carolina(U.S) by following adjudication, 190 sudden unexpected deaths including 122 men and 68 women were identified. Estimated incidence was 32,1 per 100.000 person/years overall: 42,7 among men and 22,4 among women. The majority of victims were white, unmarried men over age 55 years, with unwitnessed deaths at home. Women who were under age 55 years with coronary disease accounted for over half of female participants with coronary artery disease. Hypertension and dyslipidemia were common in men and women.4
Sudden death is a sudden, natural and unexpected death: in witnessed cases as an acute change in cardiovascular status with time to death being <1 hour and in un-witnessed cases as a person last seen alive and functioning normally <24 hours before being found dead.
In one retrospective study assessed the underlying causes of sudden unexpected death in 162 subjects (aged 9 to 39 years) over 10-years period (1976 to 1985). In this study they divided into 3groups there are Cardiac, Non-cardiac causes and Unidentifiable causes in subjects aged <20 years the major underlying causes were Myocarditis , hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and conduction system abnormalities . In subject aged ≥30 years the most frequent cause is coronary artery disease followed by myocarditis. In the 20-29 year old age group, coronary artery disease and myocarditis were the most frequent causes, followed by hyperthrophic cardiomyopathy. The noncardiac cause happened to 8 subjects with Intracranial hemorrhage as the most common cause. The hemorrhage(bleeding) was intra cerebral(brain) in 4 subjects, subarachnoid in 3 and combined in 1. Circle of Willis aneurysm (is weakening and bulging of an artery wall) was identified only in 1 of 8 subjects. Glioblastoma multiform accounted for intracranial bleeding in 1 younger subject.5In 6 subjects, infectious disease, mostly respiratory tract infection. Cardiac causes of sudden death were more frequent in men (105 of 134 [78%]) than in women (13 of 28 [46%]; p <O.Ol). Non-cardiac causes were more often encountered in women (11 of 28 [39%]) than in men (14 of 134 [IO%]; p <O.Ol).5
Coronary artery disease is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death, accounting for up to 80% of all cases. The most common causes of non-ischemic sudden cardiac death are cardiomyopathy related to obesity, alcoholism, and fibrosis .6 Another resource that I found, there are 6 case reports have been published linking recent use of cannabis with sudden death.7,8
Can Sudden Death be Prevented ?
Since this can occur people even seem to be in good health, so prevention is too difficult. However, as explained above, the most frequent cause is heart problems so everyone must know how to live a healthy life.
Here’s what you should know: if there is a person in your family history who died with heart problems before, or having hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol problem or diabetes (high blood glucose level) or even obesity, you should care more about your future. Unexplained death wasn’t completely unknown, if there is a risk factor that can be the trigger. If you are the one who has those risk factors, you should have a routine medical check-up, control your diet, and keep a good and healthy lifestyle.
- Working Group on Ischaemic Heart Disease Register, Report (Part I). Copenhagen, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, 1969
- Sudden Unexpected Death. Suggestion for Classification Adopted by the International Society of Cardiology, Geneva, 1969
- Aquilla, Isabella PhD,MD; Boca,Silvia MD; Caputo, Fiorella MD; Sacco, Matteo A. MD; Gratteri, Santo PhD, MD; Fineschi, Vittorio PhD, MD; Ricci, Pietrantonio PhD, MD. An Unusual Case of Sudden Deathh Is There a Relationship Between Thyroid Disorders and Fatal Pulmonary Thromboembolism? A Case Report and Review of Literature. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. September 2017. Vol 38, Issue 3. P 229-232. DOI: 10.1097/PAF0000000000000317
- Lewis ME, Lin F-C, Nanavati P, et al. Estimated incidence and risk factors or sudden unexpected death. Open Heart 2016; 3:e000321.doi:10.1136/openhrt-2015-000321
- Drory Y, Turetz Y, Hiss Y, Lev B, Fisman EZ, Pines A, Kramer MR. Sudden unexpected death in persons less than 40 years of age. Am J Cardiol. 1991 Nov 15;68(13):1388-92. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(91)90251-f. PMID: 1951130.
- Yow AG, Rajasurya V, Sharma S. Sudden Cardiac Death. [Updated 2020 Aug 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507854/
- A.M. Dines, D.M. Wood, M. Galicia, C.M. Yates, F. Heyerdahl, K.E. Hovda, I. Giraudon, R. Sedefov, D.E.N.R.G. Euro, P.I. Dargan, Presentations to the emergency department following cannabis use—a multi-centre case series from ten European countries, J. Med. Toxicol. 11 (4) (2015) 415–421.
- J. Orsini, C. Blaak, S. Rajayer, V. Gurung, E. Tam, J. Morante, B. Shamian, R. Malik, Prolonged cardiac arrest complicating a massive ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction associated with marijuana consumption, J. Community Hosp. Intern. Med. Perspect. 6 (4) (2016) 31695.