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Health Leaders Join to Elevate Sudden Cardiac Arrest to a National Public Health Priority
Date:4/18/2008

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports SCA-related deaths are on the rise killing nearly 1,000 people a day

WASHINGTON, April 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to boost public awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a leading cause of death in the U.S., the National Medical Association (NMA) convened top medical professionals, government officials and patient advocacy organizations in Washington, D.C. to address this under-recognized public health epidemic. At the SCA Leadership Conference, held on April 15, 2008, prominent health leaders addressed SCA risk factors, prevention measures, health disparities associated with the disease, and diagnosis and treatment options.

"More than 300,000 lives are lost every year due to the rising epidemic of sudden cardiac arrest. This public health crisis kills more people than lung cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined," said Dr. Nelson L. Adams, III, President of National Medical Association. "Particularly alarming is that SCA disproportionately affects African-Americans and women, the majority of whom die before ever reaching emergency care and that adequate data is not available for Hispanics."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2001 that SCA-related deaths are on the rise according to data from 1989 to 1996. In just 10 years, deaths from SCA increased 10 percent in people ages 15 to 34. In all, nearly 1,000 people a day die of SCA.

Organizations that participated in the conference included the American College of Cardiology, Association of Black Cardiologists, Heart Rhythm Society, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

At the conclusion of the SCA Leadership Conference, the NMA and the participating organizations issued the following statement:

"As a matter of public policy, we believe a succes
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SOURCE National Medical Association
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