Sudden Cardiac Death Among Persons With Diabetes

Study Questions:

What is the incidence rate (IR) of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in persons aged 1–49 years with and without diabetes mellitus (DM)?


The authors analyzed the entire population of Denmark aged 1–49 years from 2000–2009. Danish death certificates, autopsy reports, discharge summaries, and the Danish registries were used to identify patients with SCD. Persons with type 1 DM and type 2 DM were also identified.


The study population consisted of 27.1 million person-years. There were 14,294 deaths, including 1,363 cases of SCD. In total, there were 669 deaths in patients with DM, of which 118 suffered SCD (9% of all SCD). Among those aged 1–35 years, the IR of SCD-DM was 21.9 per 100,000 person-years compared to 2.6 per 100,000 person-years among persons without DM. Within the age range 36–49 years, the IR among persons with DM was 119.8 per 100,000 person-years compared to 19.7 per 100,000 person-years among persons without DM.


The authors concluded that young persons with DM aged 1–35 years had >8-fold higher SCD IR compared to young persons without DM.


DM is a well-established risk factor of SCD. The current study suggests that even young persons with DM have significantly higher SCD rates compared to persons without DM with the IR ratios of approximately 9 for those aged 1–35 and approximately 6 in those aged 36–49 years. The study highlights the need for early cardiovascular risk monitoring and assessment in young persons with DM.

Clinical Topics: Acute Coronary Syndromes, Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Prevention, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias, CHD and Pediatrics and Arrhythmias, CHD and Pediatrics and Prevention, CHD and Pediatrics and Quality Improvement, Acute Heart Failure

Keywords: Acute Coronary Syndrome, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Death, Sudden, Cardiac, Diabetes Mellitus, Heart Failure, Incidence, Metabolic Syndrome X, Pediatrics, Primary Prevention, Risk Factors, Young Adult

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