Sudden cardiac arrest is like a surprise attack on the heart. It happens when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood effectively. This can cause someone to pass out and stop breathing normally.
If it’s not treated right away, it can lead to death. It’s a big deal in Europe, causing about half of all heart-related deaths and one in five natural deaths.
Before cardiac arrest happens, some people might feel chest pain, have trouble breathing, or feel nauseous. But it can happen so quickly and unexpectedly.
In a recent study by the European Sudden Cardiac Arrest network, researchers made a worrying discovery about a drug used to treat high blood pressure.
The drug is called nifedipine. High blood pressure is like having too much pressure in your water pipes, and drugs like nifedipine help lower this pressure.
The researchers were curious about nifedipine and another blood pressure drug called amlodipine. They wanted to see if these drugs had any connection to sudden cardiac arrest.
To find out, they looked at 2,503 patients who had cardiac arrests and compared them to 10,543 healthy people from a Dutch registry.
What they found was alarming. Taking a high dose of nifedipine (60 mg/day) seemed to increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. But they didn’t find this problem with amlodipine.
To be sure about their findings, they checked another group of 8,101 patients and 40,505 healthy people from the Danish Cardiac Arrest Registry.
And they found the same thing: high-dose nifedipine might raise the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
This is surprising because both nifedipine and amlodipine have been used for many years to treat lots of patients. Previous studies didn’t spot this issue, probably because sudden cardiac arrest happens so fast and is hard to study.
The researchers are saying that this is just the beginning. More studies are needed to be really sure about this link. They suggest that doctors and patients should be more careful with nifedipine until they know more.
This discovery is important. It’s a reminder that even medicines that have been used for a long time can have risks that we don’t know about yet. So, it’s always good to keep researching and learning more about the medicines we use.
For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that apple juice could benefit your heart health, and results showing yogurt may help lower the death risks in heart disease.
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