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01-04-2012 | Cardiology | Article

Second UK audit of sudden cardiac death is released


Audit report [PDF]

MedWire News: Men have a higher risk for sudden cardiac death than women, a UK audit report shows.

The National Audit of the Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and managed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre in partnership with the UK Cardiac Pathology Network.

The first UK audit for sudden cardiac death was conducted by the same bodies in November 2008. It provided data on the characteristics of sudden death cases across England and Wales. For the current report, these data have been updated using the results of 317 cases of SADS since July 2008 through January 2012 from 17 hospitals across the UK.

Among the findings, it was revealed that nearly two-thirds (62%) of deaths occurred in men. The number of SADS cases peaked in individuals aged between 30 and 39 years of age, with the average age of death being 33 years.

Crude analysis of time of death showed that in the overall cohort most deaths occurred during waking hours. Indeed 72% of cases were recorded between 6am and 6pm, with only 6.9% occurring during sleep.

Approximately 33% of individuals died while resting, 19% died in bed, and 17% died during some form of exertion.

Perry Elliot (University College London, UK), the audit co-chairman, commented in a press statement: "While SADS kills a relatively small number of people in England and Wales, recent events in the sporting world highlight the devastating impact that the condition continues to have on people."

"As this report shows, much progress has been made but we still need NHS trusts to provide more data to build on this basic analysis and to improve the outlook for families affected by this fatal condition."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Piriya Mahendra

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