Entries in Cardiac Death (4)


Heightened Estrogen Levels Associated with Sudden Cardiac Death

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Heightened estrogen level may be associated with an increased risk of cardiac death in both men and woman, according a new study.

The study was presented on Friday at an annual meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society in Denver. More than 350,000 Americans die each year from cardiac death, which can occur when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, says HealthDay News.

Researchers analyzed data from people who had either suffered sudden cardiac death or had coronary artery disease. According to HealthDay News, testing on the blood samples of those patients found that both group had similar cardiac risk factors.

While diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol were found in similar rates in both groups, researchers were interested to find that both men and women who suffered sudden cardiac death had greatly increased estrogen levels. Additionally, the ratio of testosterone to estrogen was lower in those who suffered sudden cardiac death.

While the findings do not prove that high estrogen levels cause cardiac problems, the findings could help identify patients at greater risk.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Few Docs Follow Heart Attack Guidelines for Student Athletes

Jupiterimages/Thinsktock(SEATTLE) -- Sudden cardiac arrest deaths in otherwise healthy teens are usually triggered by an unknown heart condition.  While doctors have created screening guidelines for student athletes in an attempt to avoid such tragedies, perhaps the real tragedy is that few doctors actually follow these screening guidelines.

The new research, presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011, found that fewer than 6 percent of doctors fully follow national guidelines for assessing sudden cardiac death risk during high school sports physical exams.

"Despite national guidelines that have existed unaltered for 15 years, those recommendations still have not reached the bedside for sudden cardiac arrest during sports physical screenings," said Dr. Nicolas Madsen, lead researcher and pediatric cardiology fellow at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

More than 1,100 family doctors and pediatricians were surveyed in the study.  Less than half of physicians and only 6 percent of the 317 athletic directors questioned were aware of the national guidelines, which were published in 1996 by the American Heart Association. The guidelines consist of physical exam elements, including listening to the heart and checking blood pressure, along with eight medical history questions.

"We should really begin to implement policies such that sports physical recommendations is freely available to the public," said Madsen.  "It's clear that physicians are interested in figuring out how to get to a screening approach in the best way, that maximizes the potential for maximizing each patient visit and streamlines financing."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


ECG Screening in Young Athletes Not Very Accurate?

Comstock/Thinkstock(STANFORD, Calif.) -- After recent media coverage of a number of sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes, some people became louder in their demands for better heart health screening of young athletes -- specifically asking for mandatory electrocardiograms, or ECGs, to be a part of the already required physical exams.  

But the view of many heart rhythm specialists is that the ECG is not an appropriate test as it does not detect the type of heart abnormality most associated in sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes.  

A Stanford University study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, gives further support to this view, showing that when it comes to interpreting ECG screens, pediatric cardiologists are only 67 percent accurate.  

Though this study is very small -- involving only 53 physicians reading 18 ECG screens -- the authors conclude that ECGs are not very effective at correctly identifying children with heart defects who should not participate in sports, nor are they any better at clearing healthy ones for physical activity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Super Bowl: Which City Can Better Survive a Loss?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Football fans across the country will watch the Packers battle the Steelers Sunday in the Super Bowl.  And for fans in Green Bay or Pittsburgh, the big game could be a heart-stopper, literally, in light of research suggesting that a Super Bowl defeat might boost the risk of cardiac death.

"Fans can develop an emotional attachment to their favorite team," said Dr. Robert Kloner, professor of medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine and director of research at Good Samaritan Hospital's Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

"And when there's an emotional response, the sympathetic nervous system gets jazzed up and releases adrenaline, causing a surge in heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and an increased demand for oxygen by the heart."

Kloner and colleagues had previously reported in April 2009 an increased incidence of heart-related deaths in Los Angeles two weeks after the city's 1980 Super Bowl loss.  The group has now taken a closer look at who was most vulnerable in a study published in Clinical Cardiology, released Monday.

"We've known for many years that there are chronic risk factors for cardiac death, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking," Kloner said.  "But we're becoming increasingly aware of certain acute risk factors, such as emotional stress.  I think that these stressors may add up."

The much-loved L.A. Rams were the underdogs in 1980 in an intense and emotional game being played close to home at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.  The Rams had the lead going into the fourth quarter, but lost 31-19 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Despite being sixth-seed in the National Football Conference playoffs this year, the Green Bay Packers are favored going into Sunday's game in Dallas.  But Steelers fans might be less suited to handle a Super Bowl loss, according to a national survey.

Of 185 U.S. cities, Pittsburgh ranked 66th in emotional health, 123rd in physical health and 106th in healthy behavior, according to Gallup-Healthway's 2009 Well-Being Index.  Green Bay scored better, ranking 33rd in emotional health, 25th in physical health and 84th in healthy behavior. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio