Sudden cardiac death (SCD) represents an enormous public health problem in all developed countries of the world, yet its magnitude and precise incidence in different populations and disease subgroups remains unclear. There also remain major questions and research challenges in establishing the sensitive and specific markers of SCD risk needed for optimizing therapeutic strategies and allocation of resources, such as implantable defibrillators. In the past, risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) have been heavily relied on to identify risk for SCD. However, although a majority of SCD events continue to occur in the context of this disease etiology, risk factors for CAD appear to have relatively limited ability to predict risk in specific individuals and subgroups with enhanced progressive or inherited susceptibility to lethal arrhythmias. This commentary is intended to assess potentials for progress in developing improved approaches to SCD prediction and prevention through new clinical and basic research on the fundamental causes of ventricular arrhythmias, the development of new markers of electrical instability, and better understanding of the role of genetic variability in their origin.
- Sudden death
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine