The Impact of Obesity on Sudden Cardiac Death Risk

Gilad Margolis, Gabby Elbaz-Greener, Jeremy N. Ruskin, Ariel Roguin, Offer Amir, Guy Rozen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: We aimed to describe the epidemiology of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the obese, elaborating on the potential pathophysiological mechanisms linking obesity, SCD, and the outcomes in SCD survivors, as well as looking into the intriguing “obesity paradox” in these patients. Recent Findings: Several studies show increased mortality in patients with BMI > 30 kg/m2 admitted to the hospital following SCD. At the same time, other studies have implied that the “obesity paradox,” described in various cardiovascular conditions, applies to patients admitted after SCD, showing lower mortality in the obese compared to normal weight and underweight patients. We found a significant body of evidence to support that while obesity increases the risk for SCD, the outcomes of obese patients post SCD are better. These findings should not be interpreted as supporting weight gain, as it is always better to prevent the “disaster” from happening than to improve your chances of surviving it. Summary: Obesity is shown to be significantly associated with increased risk for SCD; however, there is a growing body of evidence, supporting the “obesity paradox” in the survival of SCD victims. Prospectively, well-designed studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • BMI
  • Obesity
  • Obesity paradox
  • Sudden cardiac death


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