Abstract 351: The Family Study: Assessment of the Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Family Members of Cardiac Arrest Patients
Background: Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is devastating for the patient’s family, friends, and community. There is limited information on its identifiable familial predisposition.
Objectives: To evaluate the familial risk pattern for SCA in family members of cases compared to age-and-sex matched control groups. Incidence of prior symptoms and SCA triggers were also compared.
Methods: We used a prospectively collected, population-based registry of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) in the Greater Toronto Area, to identify cases from 2010-2012. Cases were defined as SCA patients aged 18-65 who arrested from a cardiac cause and were treated by Emergency Medical Services. Two relatives per patient were interviewed regarding symptoms prior to the arrest, cardiac history and family history of SCA. Control patients with known coronary heart disease (CHD) and healthy participants were recruited from PCI procedures and the Family Practice Units at St. Michael’s Hospital.
Results: Complete family and medical history was obtained for 66 SCA cases, 56 heart disease patients and 27 healthy controls. Underlying diseases were CHD in 77%, non-CHD structural heart disease in 9%, primary arrhythmic in 3% and presumed cardiac of unknown etiology in 11%. A higher proportion of SCA individuals had a family history of SCA in 1st degree relatives (19/66; 28.8%) than 1st degree relatives of healthy controls (2/27; 7%; p=0.006) and 1st degree relatives of patients with heart disease (14/56; 25%) (Table 1). Among families with SCA, 3/66 (4.5%) had a history of >1 relative with SCA, vs. none in either control group. Most SCA patients experienced one or more warning symptoms in the hour preceding an arrest (40/66; 61%); 24/66 (36%) experienced a cardiac arrest during or following exercise.
Conclusion: Family members of SCA patients have a higher SCA prevalence than family members of healthy controls. A high proportion of SCA patients experienced symptoms in the hour preceding their arrest.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.