Forty-five per cent of the women and 38% of the men in the study had not been on any medication prior to their cardiac arrest. Fifty per cent of the women and 33% of the men had no prior history of any cardiac disease. And most of the patients (90%) had experienced no symptoms prior to the attack.
Though the triggers may vary between men and women…
It is possible that the same underlying immediate cause may be to blame. For men, physical exertion can cause an increase in adrenaline level. Emotional stress may cause the same spike in women.
Adrenaline is a stress hormone that causes the heart to beat faster preparing the body for action. The biological pathways for sudden cardiac death may vary for men and women but adrenaline rise may be implicated in both. Of course, it is not implied in this study that adrenaline causes cardiac events. But it does imply that given other heart-damaging factors an adrenaline spike may be one of the triggers for cardiac arrest.