Washington: Is it possible to predict whether someone is likely to survive or die suddenly from a heart attack? Yes, says a new study.
Researchers found that hypertension, body mass index (BMI), heart rate and additional markers that can be identified by an electrocardiogram (ECG) can differentiate between dying suddenly versus living through a heart attack.
"For some people, the first heart attack is more likely to be their last," said Elsayed Z. Soliman, director of the Epidemiological Cardiology Research Centre (EPICARE) at Wake Forest Baptist, who led the study.
"For these people especially, it is important that we find ways to prevent that first heart attack from ever happening because their chances of living through it are not as good," Soliman added, reports the journal Heart.
"Identifying specific predictors that separate the risk of sudden cardiac death from that of non-fatal or not immediately fatal heart attacks would be the first step to address this problem, which was the basis for our study," Soliman was quoted as saying in a statement by Wake Forest.
Researchers analysed data from two of the largest US cardiovascular studies - the ARIC
(Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) and the CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study) - containing records for more than 18,000 participants.
Somewhere between 230,000 and 325,000 people in the US succumb to sudden cardiac death every year, Soliman said. Most of these sudden deaths are caused by coronary heart disease.