Puolitaival E, Vähätalo J, Holmström L, Haukilahti MAE, Pakanen L, Ukkola OH, et al. (2023) Causes and characteristics of unexpected sudden cardiac death in octogenarians/nonagenarians. PLoS ONE 18(4): e0284515. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0284515
Causes and characteristics of unexpected sudden cardiac death in octogenarians/nonagenarians
|Author:||Puolitaival, Elisa1; Vähätalo, Juha1; Holmström, Lauri1;|
1Research Unit of Biomedicine and Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
2Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Forensic Medicine Unit, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Forensic Medicine, Research Unit of Biomedicine and Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2023081797459
Public Library of Science,
|Publish Date:|| 2023-08-17
Introduction: The risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD) increases with ageing.
Methods: We evaluated causes and characteristics of unexpected SCD in SCD victims aged ≥ 80 years in a consecutive series of 5,869 SCD victims in Northern Finland. All the victims underwent medico-legal autopsy as medico-legal autopsy is mandatory in cases of unexpected sudden death in Finland. All the non-cardiac deaths such as pulmonary embolism and cerebral hemorrhage were excluded from the study, as were unnatural deaths such as intoxications.
Results: Among SCD victims ≥ 80 years, 91.0% of SCDs were due to ischemic heart disease (IHD) determined in autopsy and 9.0% due to non-ischemic heart disease (NIHD), whereas among those < 80 years, only 72.6% of SCDs were due to IHD and 27.4% due to NIHD (P < .001). Severe fibrosis in myocardium was more common whereas heart weight and liver weight, body mass index and abdominal fat thickness, were lower among SCD victims aged ≥ 80 years than among victims aged < 80 years. In those with IHD as etiology of SCD, at least 75% stenosis in one or more major coronary vessels was more common in SCD victims aged ≥ 80 years than among victims aged < 80 years (P = .001). SCD victims 80 years or older were less likely to die during physical activity than those under 80 years old (5.6% vs. 15.9%, P < .001). Dying in sauna was more common among those ≥ 80 years than among those < 80 years (5.5% vs. 2.6%, P < .001).
Conclusion: In victims of unexpected SCD aged ≥ 80 years, the autopsy-based etiology of SCD was more commonly IHD than in those aged < 80 years. In SCD victims aged ≥ 80 years, severe fibrosis in myocardium, representing arrhythmic substrate, was more common than in the younger ones.
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
© 2023 Puolitaival et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.