Understanding the Silent Threat: Sudden Cardiac Death

Understanding the Silent Threat: Sudden Cardiac Death
Understanding the Silent Threat: Sudden Cardiac Death


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Narrator: 0:00

Welcome to the MedEvidence Monday Minute Radio Show hosted by Kevin Geddings of WSOS St. Augustine Radio and powered by ENCORE Research Group. Each Monday morning, Dr. Michael Koren calls in to bring you the latest medical updates with insightful discussions. Medevidence is where we help you navigate the real truth behind medical research, with both a clinical and research perspective. So sit back, relax and get ready to learn about the truth behind the data in medicine and healthcare. This is MedEvidence.

Kevin Geddings: 0:31

Dr. Michael Koren is with us, a big part of our family here, of course, at WSOS, and he is indeed a medical doctor, cardiologist, research scientist, and we appreciate him very much and we're going to talk about a couple of things.

Dr. Michael Koren: 0:43

We were talking about the famous Damar Hamlin case where we literally saw on national TV somebody just drop dead on the football field.

Kevin Geddings: 0:52


Dr. Michael Koren: 0:52

And in that case he had a condition called commotio cordis and you and I have talked about. This is where you get hit in the chest in a very specific way at a specific point in the electrocardiographic cycle, and it could lead to electrical instability of the heart. But the real question for our discussion this morning is how often does that occur? Is it just this unusual circumstance where you have a very, very unfortunate hit that was timed in a certain way, or is it more common? And the answer is that for all Americans it's actually the most common way that people die. So when you look at the statistics, between 350,000 and 400,000 people in the United States die each year of sudden cardiac death and that's defined as dying because your heart stops within just a few minutes of having symptoms or without any symptoms at all. And when you think about that, break that down. That means that 1,000 people every day in the United States die suddenly for cardiac reasons, and in the state of Florida that's approximately 80 people every day. So that's every 20 minutes.

Kevin Geddings: 2:02


Dr. Michael Koren: 2:03

So during our discussion right now, somebody in the state of Florida will have died suddenly because of a cardiac problem, and most of these people are people that have cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes or being overweight or high cholesterol or hypertension. So one of the things to think about is, if you're in a category of high risk, what do you do to, one, make sure that you don't have any high degree of heart disease and, two, how do you reduce this risk?

Kevin Geddings: 2:31

Right, so what are some things we can do? I guess number one how do you know if you are potentially at risk of this?

Dr. Michael Koren: 2:38

So the things that put you at risk are being older. So I would say that people who are certainly older than 50 or 60 need to be thinking about this, people that have some type of coronary artery disease, and we have a lot of good ways of diagnosing coronary disease these days.

Dr. Michael Koren: 2:55

Some of them are looking for more severe forms of coronary disease, like a stress test or others, can look for very early forms of coronary artery disease, such as a CAT scan that looks for coronary calcium, which is becoming more and more widely used by clinicians. Of course, people with high blood pressure, people who are overweight. That's a well-established correlation that goes back to the Framingham study from the 1950s and 60s. If you're overweight, you might want to consider what is your actual cardiac risk, and people with high cholesterol are at increased cardiac risk. People who smoke should stop smoking, they are at higher risk, and diabetics are at higher risk. So if you fall into those categories I mentioned, you should find yourself a physician that will help you understand your cardiovascular risk. Of course, on the research side, we're very involved in understanding this risk and doing whatever we can to help people reduce this risk.

Kevin Geddings: 3:50

Yeah, absolutely. If you have any questions about that issue too, I would imagine there's some good information about it at the MedEvidence website.

Dr. Michael Koren: 4:00

There is. So MedEvidence is our platform for helping people understand the truth behind the data and, as you and I have talked about on many occasions, there's a lot of conflicting information out there in the Google space, most of this is people trying to sell you something. But MedEvidence is an objective source where you can hear two doctors talking about an issue and you find out the truth behind the data. The truth behind the data is what we know about something, what we don't know about something, and how we're trying to find out things that we don't know. So I think people find this to be a very valuable resource and, again, we're trying to find out things that we don't know. So I think people find this to be a very valuable resource and, again, we're not preachy. We're just helping people understand what their individual circumstances are and, perhaps most importantly, how do you get more information? How do you get to the truth?

Kevin Geddings: 4:48

Yeah well, it's a great website, great resource. Go to MedEvidence. com. D r. Michael Koren, be safe out there traveling around, and we'll speak with you again next week.

Dr. Michael Koren:

Okay, Sounds great, Kevin. Have a great week.

Narrator: 4:59

Thanks for joining the MedEvidence podcast. To learn more, head over to MedEvidence.com or subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

Can a single hit to the chest really stop your heart? Join us for an eye-opening episode of the MedEvidence Monday Minute Radio Show, where Dr. Michael Koren sheds light on the rare yet deadly condition known as commotio cordis. Dr. Koren shares shocking statistics, revealing that sudden cardiac death claims between 350,000 and 400,000 American lives annually—that’s around 1,000 people every single day. We explore how this condition can occur without warning and discuss the critical risk factors that make sudden cardiac death the leading cause of mortality in the U.S. Don't miss this essential conversation aimed at safeguarding your heart health and potentially saving your life.

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Recording Date: June 3, 2024
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