Who is at Risk of Cardiac Arrest?
The risk of cardiac arrest is greatest among individuals with coronary artery disease, which emphasizes the importance of regular medical evaluations. Importantly, the fact that heart disease can progress slowly and often without symptoms reinforces the need for a comprehensive evaluation that your doctor can use to calculate your heart risk and recommend an appropriate treatment plan or referral to a specialist.
There is a classic “cardiac risk profile” – middle-aged man or post-menopausal female who is overweight, smokes or engages in other risky behaviors, who leads a sedentary lifestyle, and whose diet is high in animal fats. However, we all know of a person who fits this profile and has lived a long, heart-attack-free life. And we also know or have heard of individuals who appear to be in “perfect” health, but who die from a heart attack without apparent warning.
Heredity is a significant factor in risk of heart disease, so family history is an important piece of the complete profile of risk. Again, your doctor can help you calculate your risk of heart disease and plan appropriate steps to modify risk factors that are identified.