Sudden unexpected death syndrome
|Classification and external resources|
Sudden unexpected death syndrome, or Sudden unexpected nocturnal death syndrome (SUNDS), or Sudden Unknown Death Syndrome is sudden unexpected death of adolescents and adults, often during sleep. Sudden unexplained death syndrome was first noted in 1977 among Hmong refugees in the US. The disease was again noted in Singapore, when a retrospective survey of records showed that 230 otherwise healthy Thai men died suddenly of unexplained causes between 1982 and 1990: In the Philippines, where it is referred to in the vernacular as bangungot, SUNDS affects 43 per 100,000 per year among young Filipinos. Most of the victims are young males.
SUNDS has been cloaked in superstition. Filipinos believe ingesting high levels of carbohydrates just before sleeping causes bangungot.
It has only been recently that the scientific world has begun to understand this syndrome. Victims of bangungot have not been found to have any organic heart diseases or structural heart problems.
However, cardiac activity during SUNDS episodes indicates irregular heart rhythms and ventricular fibrillation. The victim survives this episode if the heart's rhythm goes back to normal. Older Filipinos recommend wiggling the big toe of people experiencing this to encourage their heart to snap back to normal.
In the Philippines, most cases of bangungot have been linked with acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis by Filipino medical personnel although the effect might have been due to changes in the pancreas during post-mortem autolysis. In Thailand and Laos, bangungot (or in their term, sudden adult death syndrome) is caused by the Brugada syndrome.
This phenomenon is well known among the Hmong people of Laos, who ascribe these deaths to a malign spirit, dab tsuam (pronounced "da cho"), said to take the form of a jealous woman. Hmong men may even go to sleep dressed as women so as to avoid the attentions of this spirit.
Hmong people believed that rejecting the role of becoming a shaman, they are taken into the spirit world.
Names in different languages
- Bangungot and "Uom" (Philippines): The term originated from the Tagalog word meaning "to rise and moan in sleep". It is also the Tagalog word for nightmares.
- Dab tsog (Laos)
- Lai Tai (Thailand) (Thai: ใหลตาย; meaning "sleep and die")
- "agmong" (Korea)
- Pokkuri disease (Japan), fukuri...
- Ya Thoom Arabic
- Albarsty (Kyrgyzstan) (Kyrgyz: албарсты)
- Also known as SUDS. See: Reddy PR, Reinier K, Singh T, Mariani R, Gunson K, Jui J, Chugh SS. Physical activity as a trigger of sudden cardiac arrest: The Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study. Int J Cardiol. 2008
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- Agence France Presse (8 April 2002). "Sleeping death syndrome terrorises young men". The Borneo Post
- Center for Disease Control (23 September 1988). "Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome Among Southeast Asian Refugees". MMWR