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Free program on sudden cardiac death
Glendale Heights – Is that skipped beat or racing heart dangerous? Should you worry about a fainting spell? Learn about these symptoms and more at a free dinner and presentation about heart disease and the risk factors of sudden cardiac death. The event will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 28 at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, 701 N. Winthrop Ave.

Sudden cardiac death kills approximately 500,000 young adults a year, said Dr. John Beshai, a board-certified cardiologist specializing in rhythm disorders. Beshai will discuss various irregular heartbeat conditions (arrhythmias), testing that can be done and treatments that are available. Learn about the heart’s electrical system and how it can be affected by a heart attack and how the heart’s pumping ability predicts the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Although the presence of coronary artery disease is the biggest risk factor for sudden death, other culprits include cardiomyopathy and certain genetic conditions such as long QT syndrome and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. While it’s true that some otherwise healthy adults collapsed without warning, others have experienced symptoms they didn’t know put them at risk for a cardiac event.

“Just because you’ve gotten a little dizzy doesn’t mean you’re going to die suddenly,” Beshai said. “But palpitations, dizziness and passing out could be signs of arrhythmias which could be lethal. The symptoms need to be looked out in conjunction with the whole family history and other objective data, such as EKGs, stress tests and ambulatory monitoring.”

The program is free but registration is required. To register, call (630) 856-7525 or visit www.keepingyouwell.com/agh, and click on “education and events.”