(HealthDay News) — Women are more likely than men to suffer sudden cardiac death (SCD) during nighttime hours, according to a study published online in Heart Rhythm.
Archana Ramireddy, MD, from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, and colleagues characterized nighttime SCD (occurring from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) using data from the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study.
The researchers identified 4126 SCD cases (66.2% male), of which 22.3% occurred during nighttime hours. Women were more likely to suffer from nighttime SCD than men (25.4 vs 20.6%). Female sex (odds ratio, 1.3), medications associated with somnolence/respiratory depression (odds ratio, 1.2), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/asthma (odds ratio, 1.4) were independently associated with nighttime SCD.
“Respiratory suppression is a concern, and caution is advisable when prescribing central nervous system-affecting medications to patients at increased risk of SCD, especially women,” the authors write.