Admission for Syncope Ups Risk of Death, Cardio Events

First admission of syncope without comorbidity linked to increased risk of stroke, hospitalization

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients without previous comorbidity admitted for syncope, there is a significant increased risk of all-cause mortality, stroke, and cardiovascular hospitalization, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Martin Huth Ruwald, M.D., from Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, and colleagues used nationwide administrative registries to identify 37,017 patients with a first-time diagnosis of syncope and matched them in a 1:5 ratio with 185,085 control subjects. The median age was 47 years, and 47 percent were male.

The researchers found that in the syncope group there were 3,023 deaths (8.2 percent), yielding an event rate of 14.3 per 1,000 person-years (PY), compared with 14,251 deaths (7.1 percent) in the control population. There was a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.06; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.10) in the syncope group. In addition, there were significantly increased rates of cardiovascular hospitalization events (26.5 per 1,000 PY; HR, 1.74); recurrent syncope events (45.1 per 1,000 PY); stroke events (6.8 per 1,000 PY; HR, 1.35); and pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator events (4.2 per 1,000 PY; HR, 5.52).

"First admission for syncope in a population without previous comorbidity significantly predicts the risk of all-cause mortality, stroke, cardiovascular hospitalization, device implantation, and recurrent syncope," the authors write. "The study suggests that syncope in seemingly healthy persons may be a first symptom of a more severe underlying cardiovascular disease."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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