Abstract 21366: Incidence and Causes of Sudden Death in the Young, Results of the First Year of the Careful Study
Background: Sudden cardiac death in the young (1-45 y) is a strong risk factor for the presence of inherited cardiac diseases in surviving first-degree relatives. The purpose of the current study is to provide population based data on incidence of sudden (cardiac) death in the young and to investigate the proportion of underlying inherited cardiac diseases.
Methods: A population based follow-up study was carried out in 4 regions of the Netherlands. Data of the first study year are presented. Victims of sudden death aged 1-45 years were identified by systematically reviewing the resuscitation records and death declaration certificates. Autopsy results were collected for all victims when autopsy was performed.
Results: During the first study year, 176 victims of sudden death 1-45 years were registered of which 143 (81%) victims were defined as definite or possible sudden cardiac death. Mean age was 34 years (SD; 25-43) and 122 (70%) victims were men. The incidence of sudden death was 6.9 (95% CI; 5.9-7.9) per 100.000 person-years and the incidence of sudden cardiac death was 5.6 (95% CI 4.7-6.5) per 100.000 person-years. Autopsy was performed in 61 cases (35%) and a cardiac cause of death was established in 32 (52%) cases (myocarditis was established in two cases). In 11 (18%) cases, no structural abnormalities were found, suggesting an arrhythmic (often genetic) cause of death. In 18 cases (30%) a non-cardiac cause of death was found. In 41 of 61 cases (67%) in which autopsy was performed, an inherited cardiac disease was suspected or diagnosed based on all available information.
Conclusion: This population-based study shows that the incidence of sudden death in victims 1-45 years is 6.9 (95% CI 5.9-7.9) per 100.000 person years. An inherited cardiac disease was diagnosed or suspected in the majority of sudden death victims, putting relatives at risk for being carrier of an inherited cardiac disease.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.