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Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young Tied to Obesity

Sudden cardiac death in younger patients may be more highly correlated with obesity than is exertion during sports, a new study suggests.

Among 5- to 34-year-olds in Portland, Oregon, who had an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), 39% were obese, but only 14% were participating in sports activities at the time of the cardiac arrest.

"To our knowledge, this study is the first to evaluate the association of traditional cardiovascular risk factors in young SCA from a single large US community, over multiple years," Reshmy Jayaraman, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, and colleagues conclude in their article, published in Circulation.

About three in five of these young individuals already had one or more classic cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and smoking, a rate higher than anticipated.