Sudden cardiac death in the young in Sweden: electrocardiogram in relation to forensic diagnosis

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Objectives. To study electrocardiogram (ECG) in relation to forensic diagnosis in young persons who suffered a sudden cardiac death (SCD) in Sweden during 1992-99. Design. A register study of a national database of forensic medicine in Sweden, selecting all cases of SCD 15-35 years of age. In this group, 12-lead ECGs and clinical data were searched for in military conscription and medical records. The ECGs were re-analysed and classified according to the Minnesota code criteria. Setting. The whole nation of Sweden. Subjects. Sudden cardiac death victims (66 individuals), 15-35 years of age, where it was possible to obtain an ECG recording. Results. We observed major or minor ECG abnormalities in 82% of the subjects. The most common changes were T wave abnormalities (35%), ST segment changes (32%) and conduction defects (20%). The ECGs were evaluated as pathological in 50% of the cases, more often in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (88%) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (82%). Cardiac-related symptoms were seen in 76% of the total group and there was a family history of a similar cardiac condition in 18%. Conclusions. Pathological ECGs were common in young SCD victims, in spite of being taken many years before death. An ECG could help identify prospective victims of SCD, and should always be taken in cases with possible cardiac-related symptoms or a family history of SCD. The pathological ECGs were often found in connection with routine screening at military enlistment for men, which raises the question of a routine screening in the young, including women.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Hälso- och sjukvårdsorganisation, hälsopolitik och hälsoekonomi


Sidor (från-till)213-220
TidskriftJournal of Internal Medicine
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2004
Peer review utfördJa