Raising concerns over prevalence of sudden cardiac death in young individuals, doctors from AIIMS have published the case study of a 26-year-old man who collapsed while moving on an escalator at a Metro station in Delhi. The post-mortem conducted at the institute revealed that brain and visceral organs were congested, with blocking in some parts of the lungs.
The case study, published in RFP Journal of Hospital Administration, aims to highlight the presence of undiagnosed heart diseases in young individuals so that preventive steps may be taken for early diagnosis and treatment.
“The boy was declared brought dead and during post-mortem, we did not find any major injuries which could have caused death. During further investigation, we saw chronic deposition of fat in arteries. Such type of coronary artery disease at an early age is rarely reported,” said Dr Abhishek Yadav, assistant professor, department of forensic medicine and toxicology, AIIMS.
The boy had no previous complaints or symptoms of any cardiac illness. The department is also conducting a study to compile the number of deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest. “The data has been collated and we are performing comparisons on certain parameters. We are aiming to identify biomarkers,” said Dr Sudhir Gupta, professor and head of department of forensic medicine and toxicology at AIIMS.
Sudden cardiac death is defined as death from unexpected circulatory arrest — usually a result of cardiac arrhythmia — that occurs within one hour of the onset of symptoms. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the main cause of sudden cardiac deaths.
Experts have suggested that lifestyle changes may be a predisposing factor. “Deposition of fats in the body can be attributed to several reasons such as consumption of unhealthy food and oil, lack of exercise, alcohol abuse, smoking and rising pollution levels,” said Dr Yadav.
Symptoms such as chest pain, dyspnea or shortness of breath and palpitations should not be ignored and requires a proper examination, doctors said.