Sudden cardiac arrest sounds like it sneaks up and attacks. It happens when the heart stops due to a failure in its electrical system, and often requires being shocked to get it started again.
But now, a new study suggests men may get a few warning signs up to weeks before.
Researchers looked at records from 567 middle-aged men who had cardiac arrest. 56% reported prior chest pain. 13% had shortness of breath in the weeks before the actual event. While 4% had dizziness, fainting or palpitations.
Nearly 80% of the symptoms occurred between four weeks and one hour before the sudden cardiac arrest. Less than 10% of people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive, so it's important to tune into any early warning signs.
Researchers are now conducting similar work in women to see if the warning signs are there, too.