Sleep death / health look out

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What would cause 2 individuals of the same family to pass away while they were sleeping?? The first one was an older woman (grandmother) and one younger man 48 years old (little brother).. Is there something that I should be on the lookout for?? My mother passed away at 43 unknown cancer older brother passed away unknown cancer then another older brother passed away due to complications of diabetes and obesity. Now baby brother at 48 passed in his sleep. Oldest sister has a defibrillator and has a bypass too. ALL of US share the same mother and grandmother. Is there something that I need to watch for or need my doctor's to check for??? Thanks for ALL your information and help with this..


3 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

Since several of your family members passed away during sleep at a relatively young age, it is suspected that they may have had sudden arrhythmia death syndromes (SADS), genetic heart conditions that can cause sudden death in young, apparently healthy, people. These conditions can be treated and deaths can be prevented.

Warning Signs of SADS

  • family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death under age 40
  • fainting or seizure during exercise, excitement or startle
  • consistent or unusual chest pain and/or shortness of breath during exercise.

Do you have these conditions? It is recommended that you make an appointment with a cardiologist and have your heart examined.

The possible causes of sleep death are heart attack, such as acute myocardial infarction, SADS (sudden arrhythmia death syndrome), etc..           

You can assess your health by physical examination, such as ECG, blood lipid, blood coagulation, liver and kidney function, as well as assessment of blood vessels.           

At the same time, you need to eat a low-salt, low-fat diet and exercise moderately to promote good health.
Not sure what caused these sudden death in the sleep. If I were you, I would go to see a doctor and get comprehensive health checkups. Specifically, you should pay more attention to the following items:

1. Heart evaluation: using echo and Holter tests to rule out heart problems. Most of the causes for sudden death are heart-related.

2. Blood lipid and sugar levels.