Seasonal variation in the frequency of sudden cardiac death and ventricular tachyarrhythmia in patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy: the effect of meteorological factors

Heart Rhythm. 2013 Dec;10(12):1859-66. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2013.09.069. Epub 2013 Sep 27.


Background: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the most catastrophic presentation in patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C).

Objectives: To investigate the seasonal variations in the frequency of SCD and ventricular tachyarrhythmia in patients with AVRD/C and to elucidate the meteorological factors that trigger these events.

Methods: From 1998 to 2012, we enrolled 88 consecutive patients with ARVD/C from Taipei City. The cohort included 20 living patients who received implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and 68 autopsied patients with SCD from the Taiwan National Forensic Institute registry. The baseline clinical characteristics, seasonal distribution, and associated meteorological factors were explored to predict the occurrences of events, which include appropriate ICD interventions and SCD.

Results: There were 106 events, including 38 (35.8%, 1.9 episodes per patient) appropriate ICD interventions in living patients with ARVD/C and 68 (64.2%) SCD events. The seasonal peak occurred predominantly in summer (P < .05) in both groups. For meteorological factors, the onset of event was associated with higher average daily temperature and longer sunshine duration. The variation in humidity within 3 days of events was significantly increased. After multivariate logistic regression analysis, higher average daily temperature and larger variation in humidity were associated with increase in events (odds ratio 1.23, 95% confidence interval 1.16-1.31, P < .001, and odds ratio 1.19, 95% confidence interval 1.15-1.23, P < .001, respectively).

Conclusions: There was seasonal variation with a summer peak in the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias and SCD in patients with ARVD/C. Meteorological factors including higher temperature and larger variation in humidity within 3 days of events were independently associated with the development of events.

Keywords: ARVD/C; Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy; CI; ECG; HR; ICD; Meteorological factors; OR; RV; SCD; SV; Seasonal variation; Sudden cardiac death; VF; VT; Ventricular tachyarrhythmia; arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy; confidence interval; electrocardiogram; heart rate; implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; odds ratio; right ventricle/ventricular; stroke volume; sudden cardiac death; ventricular fibrillation; ventricular tachycardia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / complications*
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / physiopathology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Meteorological Concepts
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons*
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / epidemiology*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / etiology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / physiopathology
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Time Factors