Forty-seven patients died suddenly during the late hospital phase of acute myocardial infarction. Risk factors associated with late in-hospital sudden death included prior cardiovascular disease, circulatory failure while in the coronary care unit, and certain arrhythmias and conduction disturbances while in the coronary care unit. These were associated with a twofold to sixfold increase in late in-hospital phase sudden death. The most prevalent risk factor occurred in 62% of the sudden-death patients; the highest incidence of sudden death with a single risk factor was 2.6%, and the greatest relative risk was 6.0. Relative risks were uniformly greater for males than females. Multiple factors were associated with a greater risk than single factors. These risk factors characterize the group of sudden-death patients as a whole but do not allow precise identification of individual patients at high risk.
(Arch Intern Med 137:1675-1679, 1977)