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Is Weight Related To Sudden Death?

For you hockey fans out there that hear the term “Sudden Death”, your mind goes right to a play-off NHL hockey game that if the score is tied at the end, goes into a traditional overtime period(s).  The first team that scores wins the game immediately whereas the other team scored upon has no further chances.  Basically, the losing team suffered a “sudden death” overtime loss.

In the medical arena, “sudden death” takes on a much different meaning than a hockey game loss.  A “sudden death” applies to a person that dies suddenly and sort of unexpectedly.  This can occur to younger people, such as the young school age football athlete that dies suddenly at practice.  At the workplace, perhaps some of you have witnessed a colleague suddenly keeling over and was not able to be revived.  We have all most likely had family members that unfortunately died suddenly.

The usual causes of sudden death are heart-related, most often being an abnormal heart rhythm that is the causative factor.  Massive strokes and ruptured aneurisms are other causes of sudden death. 

Does poor weight control increase the chances of a sudden death?  Numerous studies demonstrate this association.  In heart attack patients, obesity being present will increase the chances of a post-heart attack sudden death by over 3 times.   Sudden death is seen much more frequently in people with high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea…all of these are weight-related co-morbidities.

A person’s sudden death is catastrophic for the family, friends and colleagues as there was no chance to have a proper “good bye” and closure. For the person suffering the sudden death, although any pain/suffering from the dying process was obviated, there is a tragic loss of not being able to see loved ones anymore.

Let’s all stay steadfast and focused on our weight control efforts.  By doing so, we will increase the odds of staying on this earth longer and enjoy the great things life has to offer.

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