A survey of the causes of sudden cardiac death in the under 35-year-age group

Ir Med J. 2005 Sep;98(8):232-5.


CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) is a registered Irish charity established by parents who are bereaved as a result of sudden cardiac death. The aim of this study is to establish the incidence and causes of sudden cardiac death in Dublin city in the 10-year period from 1st January 1993 to 31st December 2002. All sudden cardiac deaths in the under 35-year age group which were reported to the city coroner in the study period were examined. Details regarding age, sex, previous symptoms, investigations, circumstances of death and main pathological finding were recorded in each case. A total of 72 cases of sudden cardiac death in the under-35 year age group were reported. 52 were men. The median age was 26.5 years (range 12-34 years). The cause of death in 20 cases was reported as atherosclerotic Coronary Artery Disease. The second commonest cause of death (24% cases) was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy was the commonest cause of death under the age of 25 years. Overall atherosclerotic coronary artery disease was the commonest cause of death in this group. The importance of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is highlighted by the fact it was the commonest cause of death in the under 25-year age group. Screening those at high risk of sudden cardiac death especially the relatives of those affected by Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy need to be discussed and implemented.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies