Impaired pulmonary function is a risk predictor for sudden cardiac death in men

Sudhir Kurl, Sae Young Jae, Jussi Kauhanen, Kimmo Ronkainen, Jari A. Laukkanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Little is known about the association of reduced pulmonary function and the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Our aim was to examine the relation of forced expiratory volume (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and the ratio of FEV1 to FVC with SCD in a population-based sample of men.Methods. This study was based on 1250 men 42-60 years of age without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and lung cancer. During the 20-year follow-up, 95 SCDs occurred. FEV1, FVC, and ratio of FEV1 to FVC were used as lung function tests.Results. As a continuous variable, each 10% increase in the percentage predicted FEV1 was associated with 18% (adjusted risk 0.82, 95% CI 0.73-0.93, P < 0.002) reduced risk for SCD. Subjects with most reduced (lowest quintile) FEV1 had a 3.5-fold increased risk for SCD (95% CI 1.42-8.41, P = 0.006), after adjustment for conventional risk factors. Similar results were observed with FVC. The results remained statistically significant among non-smokers and smokers respectively.Conclusion. Our study shows that reduced lung function is a robust predictor of SCD in middle-aged men. Lung function test may be useful in risk stratification for SCD in general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-385
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2015


  • Prospective study
  • pulmonary function
  • sudden cardiac death


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