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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Symptoms Before Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome: A Nationwide Study Among the Young in Denmark

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INTRODUCTION: No studies in an unselected and nationwide setting have characterized the symptoms and medical history of patients with sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS). The aim of this study was to identify and describe the symptoms and medical history of patients before the presentation of SADS.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We have previously identified all of the autopsied sudden cardiac deaths (SCD; n = 314) in Danes aged 1-35 years between 2000 and 2006. After comprehensive pathological and toxicological investigation did not reveal a cause of SCD, 136 of the patients were identified as SADS. The National Patient Registry was utilized to obtain information on all in- and outpatient activity in Danish hospitals. All medical records from hospitals and general practitioners, including death certificates and autopsy reports were reviewed. Before death, 48 (35%) SADS patients had cardiac symptoms; among these, 30 (22%) had contacted the healthcare system. Antecedent symptoms (symptoms >24 hours before death) were present in 34 (25%) patients. Prodromal symptoms (symptoms ≤24 hours before death) were present in 23 (17%) patients. Cardiac symptoms included chest pain (n = 16, 12%), dyspnea (n = 18, 13%), palpitations (n = 2, 1%), presyncope/syncope (n = 23, 17%), and aborted SCD (n = 2, 1%). In addition, seizures (n = 25, 18%) were prevalent. In 61 (45%) SADS cases, no previous medical history were recorded.

CONCLUSION: In this unselected, nationwide study of 136 young SADS patients, 35% had experienced cardiac symptoms before death, most commonly presyncope/syncope, but only one out of five had contacted a healthcare provider with cardiac symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Volume26
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)761-7
Number of pages7
ISSN1045-3873
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

ID: 46194735