Monday, June 19, 2017

3 cases a day of sudden cardiac death in S'pore

Source Website: http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/3-cases-day-sudden-cardiac-death-spore
By Foo Jie Ying, Reporter, The New Paper, 19 June 2017 at 06:00 am

There are about 1,000 cases of sudden cardiac death among Singaporeans every year.
PHOTO: There are about 1,000 cases of sudden cardiac death among Singaporeans every year. Weekend warriors at risk says heart specialist Dr Hong.
Posted by Foo Jie Ying, Reporter, The New Paper on 19 June 2017 at 06:00 am
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http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/3-cases-day-sudden-cardiac-death-spore



That's around three cases a day.

Half of these deaths occur in people under 60, of which more than 90 per cent are men with a median age of 47.

The median age of women is slightly higher at 50.

Though it is rare, even the young and fit can be struck by this condition.

They could be athletes who do extreme sports or take part in endurance races, putting their heart under a lot of stress, said Dr Eric Hong.

Or they could be what the cardiologist at EH Heart Specialist calls the "weekend warriors".



'weekend warriors' could be athletes who do extreme sports or take part in endurance races, putting their heart under a lot of stress.
PHOTO: "weekend warriors" could be athletes who do extreme sports or take part in endurance races, putting their heart under a lot of stress. They don't exercise regularly to build up their endurance because of lack of time.
A 2016 study done in the US has found that sudden cardiac death is the most common medical cause of death in athletes. One in 40,000 to 80,000 athletes are affected every year.
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"They don't exercise regularly to build up their endurance because of lack of time," he said.

Several studies have also linked competitive sports with sudden cardiac deaths.

A 2016 study done in the US has found that sudden cardiac death is the most common medical cause of death in athletes.

One in 40,000 to 80,000 athletes are affected every year.

In Singapore, a study that looked at 55 cases of exercise-related cardiac arrests over eight years found the mean age to be 50.9 years, with a male predominance of 96.4 per cent.

"We found that exercise-related cardiac arrest causes significant mortality in our community," the study said.

Sudden cardiac death happens when there is an abrupt loss of heart function.



Sudden cardiac death happens when there is an abrupt loss of heart function.
PHOTO: Sudden cardiac death happens when there is an abrupt loss of heart function.
In Singapore, a study that looked at 55 cases of exercise-related cardiac arrests over eight years found the mean age to be 50.9 years, with a male predominance of 96.4 per cent.
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According to the National Heart Centre Singapore, it can be due to a variety of heart conditions.

The most common cause is a sudden onset of abnormal heart rhythm - a fast but chaotic heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia.

When this happens, the heart beats at 400 to 500 beats per minute, causing the normal rhythmic contractions of the lower chambers of the heart to stop.

Blood and oxygen cannot be pumped to the rest of the body, and the brain is starved of oxygen within seconds.

The person loses consciousness as a result.

This is different from a heart attack, which is due to a blockage or occlusion of the arteries supplying blood to the heart.

This causes a portion of the heart muscle to be damaged, and may or may not lead to sudden cardiac death.



Cardiac arrest vs. heart attack
PHOTO: Cardiac arrest vs. heart attack
Sometimes there is confusion between the terms "cardiac arrest" and "heart attack." A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is damage to the heart muscle that occurs due to reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, depriving the heart muscle of the oxygen it needs to function properly. Cardiac arrest means that the heart stops beating and death is imminent. A heart attack, if severe, can lead to cardiac arrest, and this is what occurs when a heart attack is fatal. However, other conditions, such as serious arrhythmias or shock, can also cause cardiac arrest. [2]
Posted by Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
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http://www.medicinenet.com/heart_attack_symptoms_and_early_warning_signs/article.htm



EXTREME STRESS
In those who do endurance races, the body is subjected to extreme stress in the final push.

Sudden cardiac death is most likely to happen in the final 1.6km of a 42km marathon, said Dr Hong.

"It (is) known that the final sprint with sudden cessation has also been associated with greater risk.

"This is when sportsmen and women are exhausted, but with the encouragement of the crowd at the finishing line are pushing beyond their physical limits," he said.

He added that it is twice more likely to occur in triathletes than marathon runners, with the occurrence most common in the swimming leg of the event.

"Health screening can identify certain high-risk groups. And if one is at a high risk of sudden cardiac death, then the doctor would usually suggest that the individual avoid competitive sports," said Dr Hong.



When sportsmen and women are exhausted, but with the encouragement of the crowd at the finishing line are pushing beyond their physical limits.
PHOTO: When sportsmen and women are exhausted, but with the encouragement of the crowd at the finishing line are pushing beyond their physical limits. Avoid competitive sports if one is at a high risk of sudden cardiac death.
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 By Foo Jie Ying, Reporter, The New Paper, 19 June 2017 at 06:00 am



Reference
[1] Foo Jie Ying, Reporter, The New Paper, 3 cases a day of sudden cardiac death in S'pore, posted on 19 June 2017 at 06:00 am, http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/3-cases-day-sudden-cardiac-death-spore

[2] Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR, Cardiac arrest vs. heart attack, http://www.medicinenet.com/heart_attack_symptoms_and_early_warning_signs/page2.htm