OT: Warning signs of cardiac arrest

More than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year. Of that number, about 90% cause a fatality. Men and women often have different warning symptoms up to a day ahead.

The most prominent symptom for women 24 hours before cardiac arrest was unexpected shortness of breath. For men, chest pain was the preeminent telltale symptom. 50% of people who had a sudden cardiac arrest in the studies experienced at least one telltale symptom 24 hours beforehand.

These telltale symptoms included shortness of breath, chest pain, excessive sweating, and seizure-like activity.

Women with unexpected shortness of breath have a 3-fold higher risk of an imminent sudden cardiac arrest; and men with unexpected chest pain have a 2-fold increased risk.

Heart attack is different than sudden cardiac arrest. Women tend to have more atypical presentations of heart attacks. Chest pain is still the most common presentation on both men and women, but women tend to have more of the atypical symptoms such as pain in a different location, shortness of breath, or fatigue.

If you have any of these symptoms, go to urgent care or the ER immediately. Don’t wait a day because by that time you might be dead.

Cardiac arrest: Symptoms 24 hours before may differ for men and women?


Sound advice. Better yet, respond to the **early risk factors/risk predictors for major cardiovascular events…heart attack and/or cardiac arrest. A 24 hr warning before sudden cardiac death is arguably better than, say, 24 seconds (a common scenario)…but a couple of decades or more too late for meaningful intervention.

**You know what they are

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I never worried much about cardiovascular stuff.***
But now that I am old (how did that happen?), most of my friends are also getting old, and knowing when I need to go into red alert health care mode is very useful. Thanks for the link.

*** No one in my family going back beyond my great grands had cardiovascular problems. We tend to die from wars (both of my grandfathers and two great-uncles), bizarre cancers, or cussedness (Mom stopped eating when she was 97 and had only “stuck around to see that SOB out of the White House but now I’m just tired and used up so goodbye” (for 10 days she took a ‘nice glass of red wine’ every day at sundown, toasting us all, and then she was gone), and a few one horse shay collapses.

david fb


Yep we do not fight wars in my family. We do side step them.

My mitochondria comes from my 98 year old now deceased Irish Catholic grandmother. She had dementia from age 94. Around her 98 birthday she became a wanderer. The home locked her up and she decided it was time to leave. Two weeks later after her birthday she was gone. She had been slowly getting older for two decades.

Mom seems destine to be the same.

My sisters and I were born to mom ages 23, 24 and 28. We got her best eggs. We ain’t going nowhere fast. Mom and grandma were later births when respective grandma and great grandma were about 32. Still the mitochondria is amazing.

Electricity in a cell.

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My mitochondria comes from a line of long lived women (until my mum)…but, unfortunately, predisposition to coronary artery disease isn’t inherited via maternal mitochondrial DNA and we get our genetic “hand” dealt from both parents … and them from their parents etc. etc. My gift appears to come from my maternal grandfather’s side of the family.

One of my long time cronies is really keen on geneology and, from her reckoning, my granddad and all but one of my uncles all died before the age of 60. Since my mum was the youngest by a long way and I was born when she was 34, I only have vague memories of her brothers dying and they were all sudden deaths … so most likely cardiovascular disease. With a family history such as this, I should’ve been more alert to the red flag raised by my “mildly elevated” LDL-C…but I mistakenly put it down to smoking and allowed myself to be bamboozled by the health halo of good custodianship.


My maternal grandfather only gave us addiction. I have been just over 30 years sober.

Granddad’s non alcoholic siblings lived into their 90s.

The Irish Jewish side patriarch no heart disease and no cancer. There were other problems that are rarer but my siblings and I seem mostly to have skipped them. I wonder about East End of London pollution at the turn of the century hurting them.

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Well, you don’t really know the incidence of cardiovascular disease back then…either in the family or general population…because the more common causes of death (infectious disease…and, yes, war) tended to take people off in their earlier years before the usual manifestations show.

A comment was made in a different thread…that “heart disease” was a phenomenon of the last century or so (and a product of the industrial agricultural complex…or something like that). I pointed out that every era has its most common causes of death and because, say, TB or “unknown causes” were common killer in Days of Yore, doesn’t mean that ASCVD was non existent. With obligatory links …

(I chose this for the interesting terminology…I wonder what a CT angiogram might reveal as to the state of the coronary arteries in the folk who succumbed the The Bloody Flux?)



Actually, I got lucky in that department. My grandfather’s brother wrote a letter with the family history going back to the (ca) mid-1800s. No info prior to then. Paternal great grandparents had 14 children (from 1880s to 1902). Only one death that was fairly young for an adult (heart attack?, mid-30s-40?, he lived in Chicago). The rest of the deaths were either as infants (6), one teen death (accidental), and the rest (6) lived to 70+. No info on mother’s family.

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We’re at my bro in law’s in England right now and we’ve just been into Quorn for a look round a country fair. I’ve had a good look round the churchyard before and seen some gravestones from the 1800s with some quite old “inhabitants”. Took this photo … capturing another from what looks like the same family in the background … then spotted another from 1700s. Too many annoying people about to have a good scout around but I suspect there are a few more from even earlier as the church dates back to the 1300s.