Sudden unexpected death in alcohol misuse - An unrecognized public health issue?

Alexa H. Templeton, Karen L.T. Carter, Nick Sheron, Patrick J. Gallagher, Clare Verrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Sudden arrhythmic cardiac death can occur in chronic misusers of alcohol. The only findings at post mortem are fatty liver and a negative or low blood alcohol. This is an under-recognized entity. Coroner's post mortems in a typical UK city were studied. Seven out of 1,292 (0.5%) post mortems were deemed to have died of alcohol associated arrhythmic death. Applying this study to the UK as a whole, alcohol related arrhythmic death or as we have termed it SUDAM (Sudden Unexpected Death in Alcohol Misuse) probably accounts for around 1,000 deaths, many of which are misattributed to other causes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3070-3081
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Death
  • Post mortem and sudden cardiac death


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