[abstract] RECREATIONAL DIVING DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRE-PARTICIPATION SCREENING

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[abstract] RECREATIONAL DIVING DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRE-PARTICIPATION SCREENING

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Title: [abstract] RECREATIONAL DIVING DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRE-PARTICIPATION SCREENING
Author: Caruso, JL; Bove, AA; Uguccioni, DM; Ellis, JE; Dovenbarger, JA; Bennett, PB
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease is a significant cause of diving related fatalities. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) collects and analyzes all available information on diving related fatalities in an effort to make recommendations that promote safe diving. METHODS: The Divers Alert Network database was queried to determine the age distribution of deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease. All cases where cardiovascular disease was the cause of death or the primary contributing factor to the fatality were pulled for review. Cardiovascular disease is likely under-reported as a cause of death in the DAN database because occasional cases contain incomplete information (e.g., body not recovered), not all diving related deaths result in an autopsy, and cardiac dysrhythmias are impossible to prove or exclude at autopsy. The cases were reviewed by DAN staff and a physician with training both in diving medicine and forensic pathology. The fatalities were plotted by age to determine if any recommendations could be made regarding pre-participation physical evaluation. A cardiologist with extensive experience in diving medicine and physiology also reviewed the data. RESULTS: There were 877 diving fatalities reported during the years 1990-1999; 130 (14.8percent) were attributed to cardiovascular disease. The following table gives the age distribution of the diving deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease as a percentage of all diving deaths within that age group: Age: 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79, CVD 1.4percent 4.1percent 17.6percent 35percent 37.8percent 27.3percent, Common findings at autopsy included coronary atherosclerosis, left ventricular hypertrophy, and evidence of acute or remote myocardial infarction. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiovascular disease contributes to many fatal diving mishaps, particularly in the older diver population. Divers over the age of 45, especially those with other known risk factors for coronary artery disease, should consider obtaining a thorough physical examination, including a cardiac stress test, as part of a pre-participation evaluation to begin or continue diving.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/909
Date: 2001

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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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