[abstract] FATALITIES RELATED TO CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE IN THE RECREATIONAL DIVING POPULATION

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[abstract] FATALITIES RELATED TO CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE IN THE RECREATIONAL DIVING POPULATION

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Title: [abstract] FATALITIES RELATED TO CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE IN THE RECREATIONAL DIVING POPULATION
Author: Caruso, JL; Uguccioni, DM; Dovenbarger, JA; Bennett, PB
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and other industrialized nations. Older divers with many years of diving experience and individuals participating in dive training in their later years have reached the age at which the risk of cardiovascular disease becomes significant. Deaths related to cardiovascular disease represent a significant portion of the total number of fatalities in the Divers Alert Network (DAN) recreational diving fatality database each year. METHODS: DAN collects all available information on recreational diving fatalities involving U.S. Citizens and publishes an annual report of diving accidents and fatalities. Sources of information on diving fatalities include DAN accident reports, police and coast guard investigative reports, eyewitness accounts, and autopsy findings. Every case is reviewed by the DAN medical and research staff, which includes physicians with experience in both diving medicine and forensic pathology. A total of 549 diving fatalities for the years 1990-1995 were reviewed to determine how many fatalities were associated with cardiovascular disease. RESULTS: A total of 66 recreational diving fatalities had cardiovascular disease as the cause of death or as a major factor contributing to the ultimate cause of death. This represented 12percent of all fatalities in the database. Among the divers who were older than 35 years at the time of death, cardiovascular disease was a factor in 26percent of the fatalities. Cardiovascular disease was second only to drowning as the leading cause of death in divers over 35 years of age. CONCLUSION: Cardiovascular disease is a significant cause of mortality among recreational divers, especially in those over 35 years of age. Because expedient access to advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) is difficult or impossible in most recreational diving situations, pre-existing cardiovascular disease may increase the diver's risk of suffering a diving related fatality. The large number of older experienced divers continuing to participate in the sport and individuals participating in dive training at an older age should make screening for cardiovascular disease an essential part of determining an individual's fitness to dive.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/352
Date: 1997

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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