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A genetic hypothesis for cause of death during the 1952 london fog

Authors
Journal
Medical Hypotheses
0306-9877
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
45
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0306-9877(95)90227-9
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Analysis of autopsied cause of death during the London Fog of 1952 indicates that mortality from all respiratory causes, sudden and delayed, had a consistent male fraction of 0.622. Sudden death from heart failure had a similar male fraction of 0.612. However, heart failures after the first day of illness had a male fraction of 0.48. This significant difference in male fraction between sudden (0.61) and delayed (0.48) heart failure suggests different terminal events. Coronary sudden death may be attributable to right-sided heart failure, and the delayed form may be attributable to left-sided failure leading to pulmonary congestion. The male fraction in sudden respiratory and sudden cardiac deaths (0.612) is exactly the same as the male fraction in sudden infant death syndrome - 0.612 - which has been posited as being X-linked. It is hypothesized that the same X-linked gene responsible for the 0.612 male fraction in sudden infant death syndrome may be a factor in the respiratory and sudden cardiac mortalities during the London Fog.

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