Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47-50

Sudden, unexpected and natural death in young adults of age between 18 and 35 years: A clinicopathological study

Department of Pathology, LTM General Hospital and Municipal Medical College, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhu Chaturvedi
B-406, Queens, Hiranandani Estate, Thane (W), Maharashtra - 400 607
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.77323

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Context: To identify various causes, risk factors, age and sex distribution associated with sudden and unexpected natural deaths (SUNDs) in young adults of age between 18 and 35 years. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of autopsy reports and medical records of all SUNDs that occurred instantaneously or within 24 hours of onset of symptoms in young adults, between 2001 and 2009. Result: Of the total 6453 deaths autopsied during 2001-2009, 64 (0.99%) were SUNDs in young adults, chiefly in males between 30 and 35 years of age. Non-cardiac causes significantly predominated (73.4%) over cardiac causes (7.8%). Most of the SUND cases were due to preventable causes, including infections (54.6% cases), cerebrovascular accidents (9.37%) and ischemic cardiac causes (6.25%). Sudden adult death syndrome (SADS) accounted for 18.75% deaths. Conclusion: SUND in young adults is preventable. A meticulous post-mortem examination with special attention to the conduction system of heart and detailed toxicological analysis can pinpoint the cause of death in SADS.

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