Michael Jackson's Death Shines A Light On Sudden Cardiac Death and Prescription Drug Abuse
Although the cause of Michael Jackson's death is still unclear, and it may be some time before the final cause is known. Sudden cardiac death is suspected, as well as possible prescription drug abuse. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to bring some more awareness to both of these problems.
Did you know that accidental death from prescription pain medications is on the rise in this country?
Kathleen Doheny of WebMd wrote Drug Overdose Deaths on the Rise...
In 2006, about 24,000 people died in the U.S. from accidental drug overdoses, she says. That's a 100% increase from 2000.
The biggest rise in these accidental poisonings is among men and women of working age, 20 to 64, and is mainly due to abusing prescription pain medicines such as oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and buprenorphine.
And up to 300,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac death in the United States.
All known heart diseases can lead to cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death. Most of the cardiac arrests that lead to sudden death occur when the electrical impulses in the diseased heart become rapid (ventricular tachycardia) or chaotic (ventricular fibrillation) or both. This irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. Some cardiac arrests are due to extreme slowing of the heart. This is called bradycardia.
In 90 percent of adult victims of sudden cardiac death, two or more major coronary arteries are narrowed by fatty buildups. Scarring from a prior heart attack is found in two-thirds of victims. When sudden death occurs in young adults, other heart abnormalities are more likely causes. Adrenaline released during intense physical or athletic activity often acts as a trigger for sudden death when these abnormalities are present. Under certain conditions, various heart medications and other drugs — as well as illegal drug abuse — can lead to abnormal heart rhythms that cause sudden death.
The term "massive heart attack" is often wrongly used in the media to describe sudden death. The term "heart attack" refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in a cardiac arrest or the death of the heart attack victim. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death, but the terms aren't synonymous.
From EmpowerHer - Jackson's Death Puts Spotlight on Sudden Cardiac Death...
Between 200,000 and 300,000 Americans die each year of sudden cardiac arrest, added Dr. Bruce Lindsay, a past president of the Heart Rhythm Society and director of cardiac electrophysiology at the Cleveland Clinic. "It is actually the most common cause of death in the United States," he noted.
The best emergency treatment is a shock from a defibrillator to restore heart rhythm. Defibrillators now are available in many public places, and tens of thousands of Americans have tiny defibrillators implanted in their chests each year.
In many cases there is a genetic predisposition for sudden cardiac death, but it's also often associated with the same risk factors as heart disease. So understanding the risk factors can be very helpful in prevention. And although these are two separate causes of death, prescription drug abuse can also lead to sudden cardiac death.
Women need to be especially careful when it comes to heart disease - Knowing The Facts Could Save Your Life...
You should know that…Women are at a very high risk for heart disease and heart attacks. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women over 65. American women are 4 to 6 times more likely to die of heart disease than of breast cancer. Women are also less likely to survive a heart attack than a man.
The biggest factors that contribute to heart disease are smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history and age.
When it comes to prescription drug abuse - Parents should not assume their children won't be tempted to take something from their medicine cabinets. So keep a very close eye on your prescription medications. And if you have any suspicion at all, go ahead and lock-up prescriptions that have the potential for abuse. It's better to be safe than sorry.
From Parent Talk Today - Where Are Our Kids Getting Prescription Drugs?
At home. With friends. At a grandparent's house. At the store. At school... Kids can find prescription drugs in more places than you can imagine. Check out this terrific interactive tour, Rx Danger Zones, sponsored by The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.
It's a good reminder to parents to keep a close eye on their prescription meds — and on their kids.
Another risk factor for sudden cardiac death is anorexia, and Tom Davis from Coping With Life suspects anorexia may have contributed to Jackson's death. This is something I hadn't considered at first, but with all the reports of Jackson appearing emaciated, it seems it shouldn't be overlooked as a possible contributor in his death.
Perhaps this was a case of anorexia - and one of the leading causes of anorexic-related deaths is a heart attack. Jackson did look frail and sickly for many years, but the shrinking waistline - outside of his morphing facial features - was the most unpleasant sight of all.
But the lawyer thought that the mental deterioration was even more pronounced than the physical issue. It's almost as if he, and others who knew him, were not surprised by this, and they wouldn't be surprised, either, if drugs contributed.
When you live a life of pain and obsession, and you're haunted by a history of being abused, a shot of Demerol is - for many - their only friend.
Here are more women blogging on Michael Jackson's untimely death...
Torie Michelle has some great video clips at the end of her tribute to Michael Jackson - Rocking My World Since 1987.
From Stupid Celebrities - Michael Jackson Dies of Heart Attack at Age 50.
From Megan's Minute - Michael Jackson Dead at Age 50...
From Bitten and Bound - Who Will Get Custody of Michael Jackson's Children?
Did you blog about the death of Michael Jackson? Do you suspect that anorexia or prescription drug abuse may have contributed to his death? Can we learn something from this tragedy? Let me know your thoughts in comments.