Every year in America 450,000 lives are lost as a result of sudden cardiac arrest, making it a leading cause of death in the US.
Sudden cardiac arrest does not discriminate, it can affect anyone at any given time or place. However, there are certain risk factors that can increase the chances of suffering an SCA.
Unfortunately, studies have found males to be two to three times more likely to experience sudden cardiac arrest than women are. Between 60% and 89% of sudden cardiac deaths will occur in men.
One in nine men will experience sudden cardiac death, most before age 70. This is in comparison to about one in 30 women who are likely to experience SCA.
The risk for sudden cardiac death is 12 percent higher among men who have two or more risk factors.
Although SCA does not discriminate, by controlling cardiovascular risk factors, particularly high blood pressure could reduce your risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Other risk factors include cholesterol levels, smoking and diabetes.
Steps you can take to reduce your risk include regular check-ups and screening for heart disease. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle by ensuring you implement the following approaches into your life is the best approach to minimizing your risk:
- Don’t smoke, drink alcohol only in moderation
- Plan a nutritious and balanced diet
- Stay physically active
If you are particularly vulnerable to an unhealthy heart, it may be recommended that you take the appropriate steps to manage this such as taking medication for high cholesterol or carefully monitoring diabetes.
In some cases, people who have a known high risk of sudden cardiac arrest that may be due to a heart condition, it may be recommended for them to take anti-arrhythmic drugs or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) as primary prevention.
Stay Heart Safe
Whilst you can take precautionary measures to avoid a sudden cardiac arrest, this does not mean that you are immune from SCA. Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone at any time or place. Remember, CPR and a shock from an AED is the only definitive treatment for SCA which is why we want to see n increase in the accessibility of AEDs across the US along with a greater knowledge of CPR to ensure the victim has the best chance of survival. If you would like to find out more about the topics covered, get in touch by tweeting us @thedefibshop or leaving a comment below.