New York: For women, the most prominent symptom of an impending sudden cardiac arrest is shortness of breath, whereas men may experience chest pain, scientists led by an eminent Indian-origin health expert have revealed.
The study from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, led by sudden cardiac arrest expert Sumeet Chugh, found that 50 per cent of individuals experienced warning signs prior to their cardiac arrest.
The Chugh-led team learned that this warning symptom was different for women than it was for men, according to the study published in the peer-reviewed journal Lancet Digital Health.
Smaller subgroups of both genders experienced palpitations, seizure-like activity and flu-like symptoms.
“Harnessing warning symptoms to perform effective triage for those who need to make a 999 call could lead to early intervention and prevention of imminent death,” said Chugh.
“Our findings could lead to a new paradigm for prevention of sudden cardiac death,” he added.
For this study, investigators used two established and ongoing community-based studies in the US, each developed by Chugh.
Both studies provide Cedars-Sinai investigators with unique, community-based data to establish how to best predict sudden cardiac arrest.
“It takes a village to do this work. We initiated the SUDS study 22 years ago and the PRESTO study eight years ago. These cohorts have provided invaluable lessons along the way,” said Chugh.
In both the studies, Smidt Heart Institute investigators evaluated the prevalence of individual symptoms and sets of symptoms prior to sudden cardiac arrest, then compared these findings to control groups that also sought emergency medical care.
“Next we will supplement these key sex-specific warning symptoms with additional features - such as clinical profiles and biometric measures - for improved prediction of sudden cardiac arrest,” Chugh added.