Blood alcohol in victims of sudden cardiac death in northern Finland

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Aims

Momentary intake of large quantity of alcohol provokes ventricular ectopic activity increasing electrical instability. The present study was aimed to assess the prevalence of alcohol intake prior to a sudden cardiac death (SCD) event.

Methods and results

Victims of unexpected SCD [n = 2363, age 61 ± 12 years, males 1940 (82%)] included in the Finnish study of genotype and phenotype profiles of SCD (FINGESTURE) had a thorough interview of family members, medico-legal autopsy, and determination of blood alcohol concentration. Because of the Finnish law, all unexpected deaths undergo medico-legal autopsy. Patients who were admitted to a hospital due to an acute myocardial infarction [n = 128, age 63 ± 10 years, males 100 (78%)] served as controls. Based on autopsy findings, 1691 of these victims had ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and were included in the present analysis. A total of 646 (38%) SCD victims with IHD had a blood ethanol concentration above 0‰. Of these victims with blood alcohol test positive, 41% (n = 264) had blood ethanol concentration ≥1.5‰ and 56% (n = 362) ≥1‰. Male SCD victims had more frequently alcohol in blood than the females (40 vs. 27%, P < 0.001, respectively). None of the controls, who gave a consent for the blood ethanol concentration determination (n = 88), had alcohol in blood. Of the controls, 40 (31%) declined to participate in the study and give the consent for blood alcohol testing.

Conclusion

Almost 4 of 10 of the victims of unexpected SCD have evidence of alcohol intake before the fatal event in the northern Finland autopsy population.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles