The topic of sudden death has again been put in the limelight upon the news that actor Godfrey Gao, aged 35, died of sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of a late-night shoot for a reality show.
Although sudden death is dreadful, experts said that it can be prevented by getting regular physical examinations and monitoring basic health conditions, Shenzhen Economic Daily reported.
Chen Haibo, director of the cardiology department at Shenzhen No. 2 People’s Hospital, said sudden death can happen to anyone at any time or place, especially while engaging in highly physical sports and to people who often stay up late, are under pressure and smoke.
It is noteworthy that about 75 percent of sudden death victims die of cardiac arrest, according to Chen.
Cardiac arrest, also called sudden cardiac death, is a naturally occurring cause of death marked by abrupt loss of consciousness within one hour of the onset of acute symptoms.
Chen noted that a bad lifestyle is the underlying cause of sudden death, which includes factors such as staying up late and sitting for long durations. Staying up late can excite the sympathetic nerves, raise blood pressure, rupture unstable plaque in the coronary artery, and lead to blood clots, a heart attack or abnormal heart rhythm.
Chances of survival are increased if the patient is taken to a doctor immediately when sudden cardiac arrest occurs, said Chen, adding that sudden death is preventable.
According to Chen, regular physical examinations, keeping basic diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease in check, a healthy lifestyle, moderate exercise and emotional stability are essential to preventing sudden death by cardiac arrest. Additionally, the popularization of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is also very important.
Li Jun, deputy chief physician of the cardiology department of Shenzhen People’s Hospital, warned citizens to be careful if they engage in highly physical sports after 10 p.m., as doing so may cause nervous dysfunction, abnormal heart rhythm and increased probability for sudden death.