Young men are more likely than women to die suddenly from cardiac arrest caused by irregular heart rhythms, according to a new report.
The risk of death among young people hit the headlines earlier this month when Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.
It prompted calls for footballers to be screened more regularly for heart problems, increasing the number of mandatory tests from the current level of just one when they are aged about 16.
Experts know that sudden cardiac death among most middle-aged and older people is caused by coronary artery disease.
In contrast, sudden cardiac death among under-35s is frequently caused by inherited disorders of cardiac muscle (cardiomyopathies) and cardiac rhythm (ion channelopathies).
Today’s report, from the national audit of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), found 62% of deaths from SADS in England and Wales were in men, and the biggest proportion of SADS happens to people in their 30s.
The data covers 317 deaths from July 2008 to January 2012.
Most deaths, where recorded, seemed to occur between 6am and 6pm, and 33% of deaths happened when people were resting.
Some 19% of deaths occurred when the person was in bed, 7% while they were asleep, and around 17% of people died during some form of exertion, such as exercise.