Increased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Case-Control Study

Miriam Jacoba Warnier, Marieke Tabo Blom, Abdennasser Bardai, Jocelyn Berdowksi, Patrick Cyriel Souverein, Arno Wilhelmus Hoes, Frans Hendrik Rutten, Anthonius de Boer, Rudolph Willem Koster, Marie Louise De Bruin, Han Liong Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background:We aimed to determine whether (1) patients with obstructive pulmonary disease (OPD) have an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) due to ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation (VT/VF), and (2) the SCA risk is mediated by cardiovascular risk-profile and/or respiratory drug use.Methods:A community-based case-control study was performed, with 1310 cases of SCA of the ARREST study and 5793 age, sex and SCA-date matched non-SCA controls from the PHARMO database. Only incident SCA cases, age older than 40 years, that resulted from unequivocal cardiac causes with electrocardiographic documentation of VT/VF were included. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between SCA and OPD. Pre-specified subgroup analyses were performed regarding age, sex, cardiovascular risk-profile, disease severity, and current use of respiratory drugs.Results:A higher risk of SCA was observed in patients with OPD (n = 190 cases [15%], 622 controls [11%]) than in those without OPD (OR adjusted for cardiovascular risk-profile 1.4 [1.2-1.6]). In OPD patients with a high cardiovascular risk-profile (OR 3.5 [2.7-4.4]) a higher risk of SCA was observed than in those with a low cardiovascular risk-profile (OR 1.3 [0.9-1.9]) The observed SCA risk was highest among OPD patients who received short-acting β2-adrenoreceptor agonists (SABA) or anticholinergics (AC) at the time of SCA (SABA OR: 3.9 [1.7-8.8], AC OR: 2.7 [1.5-4.8] compared to those without OPD).Conclusions:OPD is associated with an increased observed risk of SCA. The most increased risk was observed in patients with a high cardiovascular risk-profile, and in those who received SABA and, possibly, those who received AC at the time of SCA.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65638
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2013

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