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WASHINGTON, Oct 15, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Washington state researchers have found the seasonal increase in cardiac mortality during winter is due to sudden cardiac death.
A study led by Richard L. Page of the University of Washington medical school and summarized in the latest edition of the journal Heart Rhythm also found that patients with implantable "cardioverter" defibrillators did not experience increased death rates during the high-risk months.
"This study confirms a seasonal relationship for cardiac death, and for the first time identifies the cause for this pattern," said Dr. Richard L. Page of the University of Washington medical school. "It is also interesting to note that our data did not show an increase in mortality associated with birthdays, holidays or days of the week."
Researchers examined whether the pattern of death in the U.S. population followed weekly or seasonal patterns, or had a relationship with birthdays or holidays. The researchers drew their sample from the AVID registry, which provided a listing of 4,450 patients with a history of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation.
Sudden cardiac death is a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 400,000 lives each year or one person every two minutes.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.