Sudden Cardiac Death: Who Is at Risk?

Med Clin North Am. 2019 Sep;103(5):913-930. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2019.04.006.


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a leading cause of death in the United States. Despite improvements in therapy, the incidence of SCD as a proportion of overall cardiovascular death remains relatively unchanged. This article aims to answer the question, "Who is at risk for SCD?" In the process, it reviews the definition, pathophysiology, epidemiology, and risk factors of SCD. Patients at risk for SCD and appropriate treatment strategies are discussed.

Keywords: Arrhythmias; Cardiac arrest; Electrophysiology; Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; Ischemic heart disease; Sudden cardiac death; Ventricular fibrillation; Ventricular tachycardia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coronary Disease / complications*
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stroke Volume
  • United States / epidemiology