Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS)

Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, a misnomer for Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome, has been studied for decades - Emma Jones

Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS)
Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS)

image by: Cardiac Risk in the Young

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Sudden Adult Death Syndrome is trending — but it’s not a COVID phenomenon

SADS can be caused by a range of disorders responsible for irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), but are subtle enough to go undetected or are so rare that they are not tested for in routine checkups. These conditions do not cause physical abnormalities or damage to the heart, and instead, interfere on some level with the electrical impulses that causes the heart to beat. Because the heart stops beating after death, it is often difficult to diagnose these arrhythmias, which then leads to the mysterious label. Modern technology, however, has shed light on a few likely causes.

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 Sudden Adult Death Syndrome is trending — but it’s not a COVID phenomenon

Rumours are swirling online, claiming that a new condition called “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome” has mysteriously appeared since the start of the pandemic and subsequent vaccination campaign. However, this isn’t quite true. While Sudden Adult Death Syndrome — a misnomer for Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome — is a real thing, it has actually been around for decades.

SADS Foundation

The Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation exists to save the lives and support the families of children and young adults who are genetically predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities.


This website outlines the possible causes of sudden death in young people and children. It concentrates on the medical conditions responsible for a sudden unexpected death where a definite cause cannot be found, even after a postmortem. This is called Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, or SADS.

Canadian SADS Foundation

Established in 1995, The Canadian Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, is the only patient advocacy group in Canada dedicated to supporting families affected by inherited cardiac rhythm disorders.

British Heart Foundation

A condition that causes SADS is undetectable after death because the heart will appear normal. But there are a few conditions that can cause SADS because of very subtle changes to the heart. SADS may still be diagnosed because the structural changes are too small to be seen when the heart is examined after death.

Cardiac Risk in the Young

CRY is a national SADS charity which offers support and information to families who have suffered a loss to SADS.

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