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New Research: Americans Underestimate Dangers of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Date:10/1/2008

Heart Rhythm Society works to raise awareness of serious public health

issue through first congressionally designated SCA Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer or AIDS, yet according to a new Heart Rhythm Society survey, four out of five Americans vastly underestimate the severity of this serious public health issue that causes more than 250,000 deaths each year. In response to these startling statistics, the Heart Rhythm Society is calling attention to the need for more public education and research, as well as wider access to life-saving SCA treatments during the first ever congressionally designated Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month in October.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops working and no blood can be pumped to the rest of the body. In essence, the heart's electrical system malfunctions. It occurs abruptly and without warning, and two-thirds of SCA deaths occur without any prior indications of heart disease. Ninety-five percent of those who experience SCA die because they do not receive life- saving defibrillation within four to six minutes, before brain and permanent death start to occur.

"SCA Awareness Month provides us the opportunity to draw attention to and build awareness around one of the leading causes of death in our country and one that the public, unfortunately, knows very little about," said Heart Rhythm Society President Dr. N. A. Mark Estes. "The Heart Rhythm Society is working to raise awareness about the risk of SCA, improve the public's ability to identify warning signs, encourage individuals to seek medical attention in a timely manner and promote the need for further research into the causes of this leading killer."

New Survey Findings

The Heart Rhythm Society conducted a national poll of adults in the United States to uncover awareness levels and perceptions related to SCA
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SOURCE Heart Rhythm Society
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