The heart stops beating, breathing stops: Sudden cardiac death strikes around 65,000 people annually. But you can protect yourself - with the following measures.
The heart does the hard work: The heart is said to beat around three billion times in the course of a lifetime, pumping around 250 million liters of blood through the body. It keeps all vital functions running - the worse it is when our most important muscle gets sick. And that happens frequently: Cardiovascular diseases are one of the most common causes of death in industrialized countries like Germany.
According to the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), around 65,000 people die of sudden cardiac death each year. This corresponds to 20 percent of all deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases. This leads to severe cardiac arrhythmias, which result in cardiac arrest in a few minutes.
Under the motto "Menacing arrhythmias: How can I protect myself from sudden cardiac death?" On the occasion of the Herzwochen from November 1 to 30, the Deutsche Herzstiftung will inform you about how you can prevent sudden cardiac death.
Sudden cardiac death: high blood pressure and diabetes increase the risk
There are certain groups who are at higher risk of dying from sudden cardiac death. The following factors increase the risk:
- coronary artery disease (CHD)
- High blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol (favor the development of CHD)
- genetic preload
- an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, drug abuse)
- congenital heart defects
- Heart muscle disease
Prevention is the key word: If the above-mentioned risk factors are identified and treated at an early stage, this prevents sudden cardiac death. For this reason, people from the age of 40 should have their family doctor check them up regularly - even earlier if they have a family history. If a heart disease or a risk factor is identified, the patient is referred to a specialist, usually a cardiologist or internist.
How to prevent sudden cardiac death
"Sudden cardiac death is generally not a fateful event from which there is no escape," emphasizes the cardiac specialist and emergency medical specialist Prof. Dr. med. Dietrich Andresen, CEO of the German Heart Foundation. " We have to succeed in suppressing the CHD through consistent education and sustainable preventive measures and to identify patients with undetected heart diseases", says the heart specialist: "If one day we were able to defeat the coronary artery disease, sudden cardiac death would also be a horror have lost". Until then, however, it was still a long and rocky road, as the portal Heilpraxisnet quotes.
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Sick heart? Interpret symptoms correctly
Typical signs that can lead to sudden cardiac death are fainting and a stop of breathing. Now every minute counts, because the longer the heart stops, the less chance of survival. According to the DZHK, these drop by ten percent per minute that the heart no longer beats.
First aid measures for signs of sudden cardiac death :
- Make an emergency call to 112.
- Immediately afterwards start with the chest compressions and possibly with mouth-to-mouth ventilation.
- If available, use a defibrillator.
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Sudden cardiac death does not usually appear , but occurs quickly and without warning. But there are signs that indicate diseases of the heart that favor it and that should lead you to the cardiologist. These include:
- Chest pain and / or shortness of breath
- Racing heart and shortness of breath
- brief loss of consciousness
Sources : www.dzhk.de ; www.apotheken-umschau.de ; www.heilpraxisnet.de ; www.herzstiftung.de
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