Sudden cardiac arrest – also known as sudden cardiac death – is an electrical arrhythmia in which the heart stops beating. People often mistake sudden heart attack for a heart attack.
According to a new study, women are at a higher risk than men of dying suddenly from a heart attack at night. The results are published in the journal Heart Rate. The study, conducted by the Center for Prevention at the Smidt Heart Institute, found for the first time that women were more likely to die suddenly from a than men at night.
“Sudden death at night is a confusing and devastating phenomenon,” said Dr. Sumeet Chu, senior study author and director of the Center for Heart Attack Prevention. “We are surprised that a woman is an independent astrologer of these events,” added Chu.
Medical experts are confused, Chuh said, because it is during these late hours that most patients rest, with reduced metabolism, heart rate and blood pressure. Sudden cardiac arrest – also known as sudden cardiac death – is an electrical arrhythmia in which the heart stops beating. People often mistake sudden heart attack for a heart attack.
However, a heart attack is caused by a buildup of cholesterol plaque that causes blockages in the coronary arteries. And unlike a heart attack, most symptoms can lead to sudden cardiac death if there are no warning signs.
Another important difference: Most people have a heart attack, with only 10% of patients having an outpatient heart attack. Of the approximately 350,000 people who contract the disease each year in the United States, about 17% to 41% of cases occur between 10:00 and 6:00 at night.
In the study, Chu and the research team examined the records of 4,126 patients with 3,208 days of sudden cardiac arrest and 918 night cases. Compared to daytime cases, patients with cardiac arrest at night were more likely to be women.
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Although more work is needed, the researchers suggest that the respiratory component could lead to an increased risk for women at night.
Chugh’s research also shows:
- 25.4% of women surveyed had a heart attack at night compared to 20.6% of men.
- The prevalence of lung disease is significantly higher in patients with heart attacks at night than in patients with heart attacks during the day.
- Those who have a heart attack at night are more likely to have a previous or current smoking history.
“The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma in sudden cardiac arrest at night has been found to be significantly higher than for everyday cases, regardless of gender,” said Choch, also chairman of Pauline and Harold Price. Research on cardiac electrophysiology.
“Drugs that affect the brain, some of which have the potential to suppress breathing, were found to be used more frequently at night than during daily heart attacks,” Chuh added.
Based on these results, this study report suggests that prescribers should exercise caution when recommending drugs that affect the brain, such as sedatives and medications for pain and depression, to high-risk patients, especially women.
“This important study can help doctors and the wider medical community make stronger science-based recommendations for treating this difficult condition,” said Dr. Christine Albert, MPH, Head of the Department. Cardiology at Smith & Lee and Harold Kapelovitz Heart Institute Distributed President of Cardiology. Reuters