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December 17, 1982

Exercise and Sudden Death

JAMA. 1982;248(23):3143-3144. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330230055034

Sudden deaths are appallingly frequent in populations where coronary heart disease is highly prevalent. Half the annual total of coronary mortality occurs suddenly and unexpectedly in a matter of minutes. Hence, there is an appropriate great interest in sudden death and the possible controllable risk factors. Prospective and retrospective studies indicate that sudden death victims share most of the major risk factors for coronary disease, but none of the risk factors examined can be used to distinguish a potential sudden death victim from those whose deaths are less precipitous.1 The key to the prevention of sudden death would seem to be the reduction of risk of potentially lethal coronary attacks.

There is a growing conviction that coronary heart disease results at least in part from a life-style that involves a diet that is too rich, too many cigarettes, and too little exercise that often leads to obesity. A suspicion