The Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study
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Sudden Cardiac Death

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a sudden and unexpected loss of pulse due to a collapse of the heart's electrical system, and is fatal without immediate medical care. Even with advances in resuscitation, SCA results in death in more than 9 out of 10 cases. Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is responsible for half of cardiovascular deaths in the US, with a total of 300,000 to 350,000 deaths each year. While physicians currently identify patients at high risk for SCA by measuring the function of the heart's left ventricle, this method needs significant improvement. Conversely, most patients who suffer SCA are not currently classified as high-risk. There is a critical need to establish methods to identify patients in the general population who can benefit most from prevention efforts. Dr. Sumeet S. Chugh (currently at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute), founded the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study (Oregon SUDS) in 2002 to investigate predictors, mechanisms, and prevention strategies for SCA with the ultimate goal of significantly reducing the burden of sudden cardiac death.

About Us

The Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study founded by Sumeet S. Chugh MD in 2002 is conducted by the Arrhythmia Research Laboratory at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Los Angeles, working closely with long term collaborators in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon. The study is based in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, in a population of approximately one million residents. For over 12 years, this study has collected detailed information on SCA cases, including patient demographics and past medical history, as well as blood samples to investigate genetic and biochemical markers of risk. This study, originally underwritten by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is currently funded by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the American Heart Association. 

Clinical Database and Biobank for Sudden Cardiac Death

Our study identifies cases of out of hospital SCA for a comprehensive comparison with control subjects from the same geographic area. Since February 2002, we have ascertained approximately 3000 cases of possible sudden cardiac arrest. All are subjected to detailed clinical phenotyping from the lifetime clinical history as well as genomic/plasma biomarker evaluation for those with DNA/plasma available. Autopsy information and tissue is available in a subset. Our laboratory hosts a biobank that has archived more than 3000 individual patient samples for blood, plasma, and DNA. Additionally we have almost 600 frozen myocardium tissue samples.