Low calcium intake could trigger sudden cardiac arrest


According to a latest study, those with deficiency in calcium in their blood are on a higher risk of experiencing Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) than those with optimal levels. Calcium plays an important role in maintaining healthy bones and joints, strong teeth and healthy blood vessels. It also helps regulate blood pressure and prevent diabetes. The researchers revealed that Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is fatal for over 90 percent of patients, and more than half of men and close to 70 percent of women who die of SCA have shown to have no clinical history of heart disease prior to the cardiac mishap.
SCA is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It is also reported that it kills more people than any single cancer.
Lead investigator Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, Pauline and Harold Price Chair in CardiacElectrophysiology, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles, CA, said, noted that serum calcium levels were lower in individuals who had a sudden cardiac arrest than in a control group.
The findings revealed that patients with serum calcium in the lowest quartile (<8.95 mg/dL) had twice the odds of sudden cardiac arrest compared to those in the highest quartile (>9.55 mg/dL), even after controlling for multiple patient characteristics which included demographics, cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities, and medication use.
For the study, team first gathered data from 2002 until 2015 from the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study (Oregon SUDS). The objective of the Oregon SUDS is to provide an enhanced overview of who is at risk for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest.
This study included 267 SCA cases and 445 control subjects whose serum calcium levels were examined during routine medical care. All SCA cases had had serum calcium levels measured in the 90 days prior to their cardiac arrest.
The total serum calcium levels of each patient were corrected by their serum albumin level to estimate a more physiologically relevant corrected calcium level. SCA cases had a significantly higher percentage of African Americans and patients with diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic kidney disease compared to the control group.
The researchers noted that further study and research were required to explain the mechanisms underlying the adverse associations with lower calcium levels and to determine whether controlling calcium levels improves the effect in the general population or in high-risk patients.

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