Callie Earliwine checks on a patient at Ohio Valley Medical Center in West Virginia where she works as a critical care nurse. (Photo:

Change in body temperature can trigger unexpected cardiac arrest, deaths

Scientists have found a protein that reacts adversely to change in temperature of the body and reacts by triggering heart attacks or even deaths.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical routine to the heart dysfunctions and unexpectedly becomes uneven, causing ventricular fibrillation and lessening blood flow to the heart. Now a new study has found that of all the known reasons, alteration of body temperature that no one could ever think of, actually provokes unexpected cardiac death. brain drastically at that moment. Should immediate action not be taken, death is expected to arise.



Photo Credit: David Bruce Jr

The research team, including Peter Ruben who is a professor of Simon Fraser University has found that unexpected death due to cardiac arrhythmia can be provoked by alteration in body temperatures.

The report described that while analyzing the proteins, which motivate electrical signaling in the heart and putting those proteins to situations that are the same as that of the pressure of exercise, in a few cases, temperature can produce alterations that in return provoke arrhythmia.

Ruben explained that when muscle cells in our hearts tighten in a synchronized way, the heart effectively draws blood throughout the body. However, when the synchronized action is obstructed by an arrhythmia, the heart fails to circulate blood.

He said that electrical signal responsible for muscle tightening is caused by teeny molecules of protein in the heart cells membranes. “Temperature fluctuations modify the way all proteins behave, but some DNA mutations can make proteins especially sensitive to changes in temperature,” he added, saying that in extreme cases death can also be the result.

Ruben and his team discovered that a protein, owing to being more delicate to temperature than normal, stops operating normally when there is an alteration in the body temperature like during exercise when the temperature elevates, and during sleep when the temperature decreases.

During the moments of alterations of body temperature, the disturbed protein, whose operation dysfunction, makes the electrical signal in the heart to become uneven, provoking arrhythmia and possibly, sudden cardiac death.

These temperature-delicate proteins are created by DNA mutation and are very rare in number. However, they can become very capable of producing mortality outcome when united with another arrhythmia provoker like alteration in the acid content of blood, which ensue generally as a by-product of exercise and sleep, especially sleep apnea.

Ruben illustrated that in their initial research they discovered that temperature alterations are a provoker for a few seizure disorders. “We imagined that cardiac arrhythmias are like seizures and wondered whether they might share the same trigger,” he added.

Ruben pointed out that with their new discovery, people can scan their family histories, seeing if sudden cardiac death or mysterious passing out is a part of it. If so, they can pursue medical advice.

The research team stated that with the help of a combination of genetic screening, lifestyle management, and electrocardiograms, some cardiac deaths due to arrhythmia may be averted.

Cardiac arrhythmia is the reason why a soccer player suddenly drops dead in the midst of a game or a new-born dies during his/her sleep, explained the report.The study has been published in the journal “Journal of Physiology.”

According to the World Health Organization, Cardiovascular deaths are the leading causes of death globally with 17.5 million deaths recorded just in 2012. NCBI sources reported that about 6 million deaths happen annually all around the globe due to sudden cardiac deaths from ventricular tachyarrhythmias.

According to WebMD, sudden cardiac death is the cause behind 325,000 adult deaths in the United States every year, and is accountable for half of all deaths related to heart diseases.

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