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Beware! Night-time cardiac arrest can kill you in minutes. Know the condition and its symptoms

Beware! Night-time cardiac arrest can kill you in minutes

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) - also called sudden cardiac death - is an electrical disturbance of the heart rhythm that causes the heart to stop beating.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Published : February 6, 2021 2:00 PM IST

Women are more likely than men to suffer sudden death due to cardiac arrest during night-time hours. Yes, you read that right. A new study which was published in the journal Heart Rhythm has revealed that 25.4 per cent of females studied suffered from the condition at night as compared to 20.6 per cent of their male counterparts.

Speaking on the topic, researcher Sumeet Chugh from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the US said, "Dying suddenly during night-time hours is a perplexing and devastating phenomenon. We were surprised to discover that being female is an independent predictor of these events".

Medical experts are mystified, the researcher said, because, during these late hours, most patients are in a resting state, with reduced metabolism, heart rate, and blood pressure.

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Sudden Cardiac Arrest - What Is It?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) - also called sudden cardiac death - is an electrical disturbance of the heart rhythm that causes the heart to stop beating. When this happens, your blood stops flowing to the brain and other important organs of the body. SCA can be life-threatening and usually causes death if it's not treated within minutes.

According to the reports, coronary artery diseases are the most common risk factors for sudden cardiac deaths, accounting for up to 80% of all cases.

Causes Of Sudden Cardiac Arrests

There are always risk factors that increase your chances of getting affected by any of the health complications. Some of these risks may include:

1. Overweight And Obesity

One of the most important causes of sudden cardiac arrests is your weight. Being overweight or obese can invite various health complications and one of these is cardiac death.

2. Alcohol Intake

Excessive intake of alcohol can raise your risk of getting a sudden cardiac arrest. Alcohol intake can also have several other negative impacts on your health.

3. Lifestyle

Your lifestyle plays a very important role in your body's overall functioning. Include exercise and a healthy diet in your lifestyle to keep yourself safe from chronic diseases.

Daytime Death Cases Are Less In Numbers

For the study, the team of investigators looked at the records of 4,126 patients, with 3,208 daytime cases of sudden cardiac arrest and 918 night-time cases.

Compared with daytime cases, patients who suffered from night-time cardiac arrest were more likely to be female.

The team also found that the prevalence of lung disease was significantly higher in those who had a cardiac arrest at night compared with those who had a cardiac arrest during the daytime.

"The prevalence of chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma were found to be significantly higher in sudden cardiac arrest cases at night compared with daytime cases, regardless of gender," said Chugh.

"Brain-affecting medications, some of which have the potential to suppress breathing, were also found to have a significantly greater usage in night-time compared to daytime cardiac arrest," Chugh added.

Symptoms Of Sudden Cardiac Arrests

Now that you know how dangerous this condition can be, you must know the warning signs and symptoms so that the treatment can be started early.

Here are some of the common warning symptoms of cardiac arrest:

1. Pounding heartbeat

2. Excessive sweating

3. Trouble in breathing

4. Sudden loss of consciousness

5. Chest congestion which can get worse with time

How To Stay Safe?

Not just women, even men should take certain steps to keep themselves safe from the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Here is what you need to know:

1. Limit your alcohol consumption.

2. Quit smoking

3. Follow a healthy lifestyle - which will include proper exercises, a healthy diet, and good mental health.

4. Try breathing exercises daily. Breathing exercises can help detox your inner organs, thus keeps you safe.

5. Increase your immunity with diet and yoga.

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