Hypertension, Left Ventricular Hypertrophy and Sudden Cardiac Death in Scuba Diving

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by Petar J. Denoble, MD, DSc

About the Article

Cardiac disease is associated with 20-30% of fatalities amongst recreational divers. In most cases the scenario of death fits the description of sudden cardiac deash (SCD), which is also one of the most common risk factors in the general population. However, the average age of divers is increasing and thus the prevalence of marginal and undetected cardiovascular diseases may contribute to an increased incidence of scuba diving fatalities in the future. To stratify risks among scuba divers and to establish targets for possible preventive interventions, in the absence of severe cardiovascular disease, other markers are necessary. Left ventricular hypertrophy
(LVH), which is an independent risk factor for SCD, may be such a marker.

In this article we will consider casual relationship of hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy with sudden cardiac death, their prevelance in the population studied, prevention in the general population, and possible preventive strategies to reduce SCD in diving.

This article was first published in Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Volume 4 Issue 3. It is now available to you For Free as a downloadable PDF. Thanks to DAN Research for sponsoring this article, making it available to you For Free. Learn more about DAN Research at www.DAN.org/Research

About the Author

Dr. Petar Denoble, MD, DSc, is a senior director of the medical research department at Divers Alert Network. After graduating from medical school, Petar joined Peter-Denoblethe Navy in the former Yugoslavia and specialized in naval and diving medicine. For 13 years, he was involved with training, supervision, and treatment of divers in open circuit, closed circuit, deep bounce, and saturation diving. He did his doctoral thesis on oxygen consumption in underwater swimming. For the last 20+ years, he has been with Divers Alert Network. His work at DAN has involved him in the development of the largest database of exposure and outcomes in recreational diving, the monitoring of diving injuries, and the study, treatment, and prevention of fatal outcomes and long-term consequences of diving accidents.

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