Chagas disease (Ch) affects 8–10 million people in Latin America. Sudden death is the major cause of death in patients with Ch. Objective: To compare the circadian rhythm of sudden death in Ch vs. non-Ch patients. Methods: Retrospective analysis of all the cases of sudden death (SD) is recorded in our department, including autopsied patients from 1963 until 2011. Pattern of death of 266 patients (116 Ch and 146 non-Ch), 56.7% men, average age 54, 6 years old, divided into four groups: Group A: Ch with SD (n = 38), Group B: non-Ch with SD (n = 58), Group C: Ch with non-SD (n = 81), and Group D: non-Ch with non-SD (n = 89). Results: 44.7% (17/38) of sudden deaths in Group A (Ch) occurred between 6 am and 5:59 pm, while for Group B (not Ch) 70.7% (41/58) died in that time (p < 0.005). Between 6 pm and 5:59 am occurred 55.3% (21/38) of the SD in Group A (Ch) compared with 29.3% (17/58) in Group B (p < 0.005). Conclusions: Circadian rhythm of SD in patient with Ch differs from those patients with non-CH. In CH patients, SD occurs predominantly during the night compared with non-Ch SD that occurs predominantly during the morning.
Part of the book: Circadian Rhythm