Sex Disparities in Sudden Cardiac Death

Sex Disparities in Sudden Cardiac Death.

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Item Type: Review
Status: Published
Official URL:
Journal or Publication Title: Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Volume: 14
Number: 8
Date: August 2021
Divisions: Cardio Genomics
Molecular Cardiology
Depositing User: General Admin
Identification Number: 10.1161/CIRCEP.121.009834
ISSN: 1941-3149
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2021 10:45

The overall incidence of sudden cardiac death is considerably lower among women than men, reflecting significant and often under-recognized sex differences. Women are older at time of sudden cardiac death, less likely to have a prior cardiac diagnosis, and less likely to have coronary artery disease identified on postmortem examination. They are more likely to experience their death at home, during sleep, and less likely witnessed. Women are also more likely to present in pulseless electrical activity or systole rather than ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. Conversely, women are less likely to receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation or receive cardiac intervention post-arrest. Underpinning sex disparities in sudden cardiac death is a paucity of women recruited to clinical trials, coupled with an overall lack of prespecified sex-disaggregated evidence. Thus, predominantly male-derived data form the basis of clinical guidelines. This review outlines the critical sex differences concerning epidemiology, cause, risk factors, prevention, and outcomes. We propose 4 broad areas of importance to consider: physiological, personal, community, and professional factors.

Keywords: arrhythmias; death; pregnancy; resuscitation; sex; sudden; women.

Butters, Alexandra
Arnott, Clare
Sweeting, Joanna
Winkel, Bo Gregers
Semsarian, Christopher
Ingles, Jodie
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2021 10:45

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