Researchers with the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study are working to understand the mechanisms of sudden cardiac arrest by "searching for novel determinants of this condition that will facilitate the identification of subjects at risk, with the overall goal of improving prevention of sudden cardiac arrest" and improving the current low rate of successful resuscitation.
Sumeet Chugh, MD, Associate Director for Genomic Cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and his colleagues have spent the past 12 years studying factors that contribute to sudden cardiac arrest.
The benchmark study thus far has been the Framingham Study, but there are many questions still unanswered. Approximately 350,000 people die each year in the US from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA); more than 1,000 people die each day from SCA. Approximately 95% die within 10 minutes.
Chugh and his research associates formed the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study 12 years ago, encompassing 1 million people in Portland, OR.
“The goal is to try to predict who is at risk for sudden cardiac arrest and to try to increase prevention,” said Chugh. “We found factors that consistently enable us to predict death in this population. Many people think that sudden cardiac death happens without warning, but we have been able to identify 10 different contributing factors.”
Those resulting factors are the basis of research findings that Chugh discussed during a poster session at the 2013 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, currently ongoing in Dallas, TX. Highlights included: