Abstract 17200: Blood Alcohol in Victims of Sudden Cardiac Death in Northern Finland
Background: Momentary intake of large quantity of alcohol provokes ventricular ectopic activity increasing electrical instability. However, data on the prevalence of alcohol intake prior to a sudden cardiac death (SCD) event are limited.
Methods: Victims of unexpected SCD (n=2,363, age 61±12 years, males 1,940 (82%)) included in the Finnish study of genotype and phenotype profiles of SCD (FINGESTURE) had a thorough interview of family members, medico-legal autopsy and determination of blood alcohol concentration. Because of the Finnish law, all unexpected deaths undergo medico-legal autopsy. Patients, who were admitted to a hospital due to an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) (n=128, age 63±10 years, males 100 (78%)) served as controls.
Results: Based on autopsy findings, 1,691 of these victims had ischemic heart disease and were included in the present analysis. A total of 646 (38%) SCD victims with ischemic heart disease had a blood ethanol concentration above 0‰. Of these victims with blood alcohol test positive, 41% (n=264) had blood ethanol concentration ≥ 1.5‰ and 56% (n=362) ≥ 1‰. Male SCD victims had more frequently alcohol in blood than the females (40% vs. 27%, p<0.001, respectively). None of the controls, who gave a consent for the blood ethanol concentration determination (n=88), had alcohol in blood. Of the controls, 40 (31%) declined to participate in the study and give the consent for blood alcohol testing.
Conclusion: Almost 4/10 of the victims of unexpected SCD have evidence of alcohol intake before the fatal event in the Northern Finland autopsy population.
Author Disclosures: J. Perkiomaki: None. E. Hookana: None. K. Kaikkonen: None. J. Junttila: None. M. Kortelainen: None. H. Huikuri: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.