Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a condition where the heart stops beating unexpectedly and suddenly, which interrupts the flow of blood to the brain and other vital organs. Most people who suffer from SCA will die from it within a few minutes and it is the cause of death for 300,000-350,000 Americans each year.

According to a recent study published in the medical journal, Circulation, African Americans are much more likely to suffer from SCA. Although there is more research to be done on this topic, studies as far back as 1993 have shown a marked difference in the outcomes of Caucasian and African Americans.

Details of the Study

Researchers in the latest study used data gathered from the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study (SUDS), an ongoing community-based study that utilized several sources to determine the number of SCAs occurring outside of hospitals in Portland, Oregon.

The scientists found that African Americans in Portland were more than twice as likely to suffer an SCA, with 175 African American men and 90 African American women per 100,000 suffering SCA compared with 84 Caucasian men and 40 Caucasian women per 100,000.

In addition to the likelihood of suffering from SCA, African Americans also have been shown to suffer at a comparatively younger age, by a factor of 6 years.

Beating the Odds

There are many conditions that contribute to your risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, but there are also some lifestyle changes that could reduce your risk. These include:

  • Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables
  • Ensuring half of your grain intake is from whole-grain products
  • Sticking to a low-sodium diet
  • Avoiding saturated fats and trans fats
  • Replacing fatty foods with lean options, such as poultry, fish, or beans
  • Choosing low-sugar beverages
  • Controlling your calorie intake
  • Checking with your physician about a physical routine that’s right for you

If you or someone you love is at high risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or if your primary care physician recommends seeing a cardiologist, contact Dr. Dilip Mathew today. As one of the premier electrophysiologist in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota area, Dr. Mathew is dedicated to your heart health.