HAVANA._ Every year between four and five million people, 50 percent of which reported some type of heart condition, are victims of sudden cardiac death (SCD).

In an exclusive interview with the Prensa Latina news agency, Doctor Luis Alberto Ochoa, a second degree specialist in Internal Medicine and Cardiology, talks about this subject in Cuba. Ochoa, who has dedicated 20 years of his career to the subject, said the research into such cardiac events in Cuba goes back to 1995 when an SCD study group was created in the Hermanos Ameijeiras Surgical Clinical Hospital.

Every year between four and five million people, 50 percent of which reported some type of heart condition, are victims of sudden cardiac death (SCD).Between 1995 and 2014 a multidisciplinary team studied more than 28,000 deaths by natural causes, of which 1,953 resulted from SCD.

PL- Where does the singularity of the Cuban research lie?

LAO- It is the result of a verbal autopsy conducted in each case that has been diagnosed. This is a method of collecting data by interviewing relatives and attending medics in order to record solid and reliable information.

PL- What are the principal risk factors?

LAO- Smoking, previous heart problems, high blood pressure, mellitus diabetes, obesity and lack of physical exercise.

PL- Two years ago the team aimed to extend this model of research nationwide. At what stage is that initiative at present?

LAO- To date we have studied approximately 27 municipalities from 12 provinces around the country, including some important municipalities in Havana, in which 95 percent of cases indicate previous heart conditions.

PL-- Are we aware here in Cuba if findings, projections, advances or records regarding SCD exist for Latin America?

LAO- On the basis of what we know from published data, the broader Latin American experience is in keeping with our own.

Every year between four and five million people, 50 percent of which reported some type of heart condition, are victims of sudden cardiac death (SCD).Even though SCD is recognized internationally as a classified illness, continental statistics indicate that not all cases are documented or recorded.

PL- From a medical and technical point of view, is Cuba ready to undertake a study of this nature?

LAO- Cuba does have adequately qualified and experienced human resources to take on the challenge. Our SCD research over the past 20 years places us at the forefront.

Every 46 minutes someone in Cuba suffers a cardiac-respiratory attack.

SCD continues to be an unresolved issue.

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