Sudden Cardiac Arrest- New Research On Early Warning Signs. (Don’t Forget Fish Oil!)
My beloved experienced chest pain a few months ago. Given that his family history is significant for heart disease, we played it safe and went to the emergency department. He was fine thankfully, but a he was little sheepish about going to the ED with a “non-issue”. I however, was grateful he was willing to go. A new study out this week validates my concern around playing it safe. It turns out “sudden” cardiac arrest (SCA) really isn’t so sudden. Warning signs are there in about 50% of the population. Heeding them may save your life, but they found in this study a full 80% of individuals ignored those early, lifesaving signs. These signs include shortness of breath, heart palpitations and/or chest pain or pressure. The signs can also be less specific: flu-like symptoms, nausea or back pain. Not surprisingly, those who did respond to the early signs had better outcome than those who did not. Mortality with SCA is 90%. Most people die from it.
Reduce risk of sudden cardiac death by up to 90% with adequate supplementation of fish oil.
Allow me to diverge here slightly and make this wildly important point: Anyone with heart disease or risk of heart disease needs to be supplementing with fish oil. Ideally, enough per day to achieve an omega-3 index of >8%. That is, the RBC lipid membrane is comprised of at least 8% EPA/DHA. The amount required to achieve 8% varies from individual to individual, so testing is required. However, this test should be available standard labs such as Quest or LabCorp and covered by insurance. I usually go with about 2.5g/day. Check out this 2008 discussion on the Omega-3 Index by Harris.