Sudden cardiac arrest not so sudden

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. -- New research finds sudden cardiac arrest isn't so sudden after all. Oregon researchers found more than half the men they studied had symptoms such as chest pain up to a month prior to their cardiac arrest. Nine out of ten people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die.

Dr. Jeffrey Bissing, a cardiologist at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, says you shouldn't wait to get symptoms checked out.

"With men, I think the issue is always thinking this isn't a heart attack," Bissing said. "This is something else. I don't have to react to it. And this clearly shows one place we can intervene."

He says be aware of possible symptoms of heart trouble such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, arm pain or jaw pain.

"I mean let's face it, you'd be better off to evaluate that symptom, even if you think it's not your heart, and survive than try and deal with these statistics of only being a 10 percent chance of survival at this point," Bissing said.

The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions. The researchers are now doing a similar study of women to see if they're just as likely to have symptoms before suffering sudden cardiac arrest.

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