Recently, there have been cases of sudden death of young men aged 30 to 40 years old, which have left people shocked. In fact, sudden deaths are still dominated by the elderly at present, and with the increase of age, the incidence rate gradually increases. Although the rate of sudden death among young adults is not high, because of people’s proactive thinking, the younger the sudden death is, the more likely it is to alarm people. In addition, media reports have misled the general population to believe that “sudden death occurs frequently among young adults.”
According to the definition of “sudden death” by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), it means that there are no signs or symptoms, and the entire process takes less than one hour from the onset of symptoms to death. According to relevant domestic or international literature reports, the main root cause for sudden death is psychogenic disease, accounting for an average of 50% to 80% or more, caused by myocardial infarction, severe angina, cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmia.
Generally speaking, there are two peak periods of sudden death in an individual’s lifetime: birth to 6 months, and 45 to 75 years of age. The incidence of sudden death in the latter is 100 times more than that of adolescence to 30 years of age. Sudden deaths between the ages of 45 and 75 are mostly caused by acquired heart diseases, such as arrhythmia caused by angina or valve problems, which slowly produce cardiomyopathy. In addition, some patients have genes which cause fatal arrhythmia or cardiomyopathy, but they have not been manifested when they were young, and the disease slowly emerges after the age of 45.
If someone in the family has died suddenly, it is recommended to do genetic testing for the risk assessment of hereditary heart disease. Early genetic testing helps to detect heart abnormalities before the onset of illness. Those with inherited heart disease genes can avoid heart-related problems by taking preventive actions such as regular health check, practice good habits, and active health management.