BACKGROUND: Knowledge of the burden and causes of sudden cardiac death (SCD) is sparse in persons aged<50 years; better understanding is needed to lower the risk of SCD. The aim of this study was to report SCD incidence rates and autopsy findings in persons aged 1 to 49 years. METHODS AND RESULTS: All deaths in persons aged 1 to 49 years were included in 2007 to 2009. Death certificates were reviewed by 2 physicians. History of previous admissions to hospital was assessed, and discharge summaries were read. Sudden unexpected death cases were identified and autopsy reports were collected. In the 3-year study period, there were 7849 deaths of which we identified 893 (11%) SCD cases. The annual incidence rate per 100 000 persons increased from 2.3 (95% confidence interval, 2.0-2.7) to 21.7 (95% confidence interval, 20.2-23.4) in persons aged 1 to 35 and 36 to 49 years, respectively. Coronary artery disease was the most common cause of death and was found in 158 (36%) autopsied cases, followed by 135 (31%) cases of sudden unexplained death. CONCLUSIONS: In a nationwide cohort of persons aged<50 years, the annual incidence rate of SCD was ≈10× higher in persons aged 36 to 49 years than in persons aged 1 to 35 years. Notably, coronary artery disease was the most common cause of SCD, followed by unexplained deaths. These findings may help in developing strategies to prevent SCD in the future.
Circulation. Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology (online), 2014, Vol 7, Issue 2, p. 205-11
Adolescent; Adult; Age Distribution; Autopsy; Cause of Death; Child; Child, Preschool; Coronary Artery Disease; Death Certificates; Death, Sudden, Cardiac; Denmark; Female; Humans; Incidence; Infant; Male; Middle Aged; Registries; Retrospective Studies; Sex Distribution; Survival Rate; Young Adult; autopsy death sudden cardiac epidemiology pathology registries MULTIPLE SOURCE SURVEILLANCE YOUNG-ADULTS UNITED-STATES POPULATION SURVIVAL REGISTRY ARREST HEART ADOLESCENTS DIAGNOSIS; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't