Binge drinking, recreational drug use, vigorous physical activity likely to have contributed to sudden heart attack deaths

An ICMR study has pinpointed three reasons for the sudden deaths of young people — past COVID-19 hospitalisation, family history of sudden death, and certain lifestyle behaviours that increased the likelihood of unexplained sudden death.

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Binge drinking, recreational drug use, vigorous physical activity likely to have contributed to sudden heart attack deaths

The study has pinpointed three reasons for these sudden deaths — Past COVID-19 hospitalisation, family history of sudden death, and certain lifestyle behaviours. 

In the past few months, newspapers and TV channels are replete with stories of young people dying due to sudden cardiac arrest. The deaths have occurred within a matter of minutes not giving any time to provide any emergency response to the person.

Last month during Navratri celebrations, it was reported that at least 10 young people died in Gujarat while enjoying the traditional garba dance.

In September, a distressing video showed a young man collapsing while running on a treadmill and dying. It was reported that he died due to a heart attack.

Such cases of heart attack and sudden deaths have been reported for the past few months, and concerns have been raised around such deaths linked to COVID vaccination, which pushed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct a study to understand what was causing these sudden deaths.

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The findings of the study titled ‘Factors associated with unexplained sudden deaths among adults aged 18-45 years in India – A multicentric matched case–control study’, which have recently been published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, conclude that “COVID-19 vaccination did not increase the risk of unexplained sudden death among young adults in India.”

The study has pinpointed three reasons for these sudden deaths — Past COVID-19 hospitalisation, family history of sudden death, and certain lifestyle behaviours which, claim the researchers, increased the likelihood of unexplained sudden death.

Under lifestyle behaviours, the study has mentioned smoking, recreational drug use, alcohol frequency and binge drinking, and vigorous-intensity physical activity two days before death/interviews.

“Sudden deaths” denote the unexpected demise of previously healthy individuals devoid of known comorbid ailments.

This study was conducted through participation of 47 tertiary care hospitals across India. Cases were apparently healthy individuals aged 18-45 years without any known comorbidity, who suddenly (<24 hours of hospitalisation or seen apparently healthy 24 hours before death) died of unexplained causes during 1stOctober 2021 — 31st March 2023. Four controls were included per case matched for age, gender and neighbourhood.

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The results of the study show that 729 cases and 2,916 controls were included in the analysis. Receipt of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine lowered the odds for unexplained sudden death, whereas past COVID-19 hospitalisation, family history of sudden death, binge drinking 48 hours before death/interview, use of recreational drug/substance, and performing vigorous-intensity physical activity 48 hours before death/interview were positively associated.

Two doses of COVID vaccination lowered the odds of unexplained sudden death, whereas a single dose did not, notes the study.

#health #icmr #postcovid #heartattacks 

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