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Explaining why so many cases of cardiac arrest strike in the morning
Date:9/8/2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 8, 2013 Evidence from people with heart disease strongly supports the existence of the molecular link first discovered in laboratory mice between the body's natural circadian rhythms and cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death (SCD) the No. 1 cause of death in heart attacks, a scientist said here today.

The research, which offers the most focused explanation ever for SCD's predilection for the morning hours, was part of the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The meeting, which features almost 7,000 reports on discoveries in science and other topics, continues through Thursday in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels.

Mukesh Jain, M.D., who reported on the research, said that it pinpoints a previously unrecognized factor in the electrical storm that makes the heart's main pumping chambers suddenly begin to beat erratically in a way that stops the flow of blood to the brain and body. Termed ventricular fibrillation, the condition causes SCD, in which the victim instantly becomes unconscious and dies unless CPR or a defibrillator is available to shock the heart back into its steady beat.

"Sudden cardiac death due to this electrical instability causes an estimated 325,000 deaths annually in the United States alone," Jain explained. He is with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "That includes the 3 out of 4 heart disease deaths in people aged 35-44. In all too many cases, there is no second chance. The first event is the last event. Our research points the way toward possible ways of easing that toll new drugs that could reduce that risk, for example."

One of the deepest mysteries about SCD has been its timing. Health experts have known for more than 30 years that the erratic heartbeat responsible for SCD strikes most often at certain times of the day. The peak risk hours range from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., w
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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
317-262-5907 (Indianapolis Press Center, Sept. 6-11)
202-872-6042

Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
317-262-5907 (Indianapolis Press Center, Sept. 6-11)
202-872-6293

American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert


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