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National Survey on Syncope: Prevalence
Ruiz G.A, Madoery C, Labadet CD, Cáceres Monié
C, Estepo J, Scaglione J, Gonzalez JL.
Sociedad Argentina de Medicina.
Buenos Aires. Argentina.
Syncope is frequently the cause of medical consultations. The prevalence of
syncope has not been fully assessed in our country. The present survey, carried out in 12
Argentine cities, aims at finding out the prevalence for the general population and to
what extent it leads to a medical consultation.
Methods: Syncope was considered as a transient loss of consciousness and
postural tone not due to trauma. The survey was carried out by physicians in public places
inside hospitals (cafeteria, halls, etc.). People were asked whether they had ever had a
syncopal episode, how many episodes they had suffered and whether they had consulted with
a physician. Doctors, doctors relatives, hospital patients and paramedics were
excluded. The data was gathered during a full month.
Results: A total of 2,027 people (57% women), aged between 15 and 96
(average 41.1 ± 16.5), were surveyed. Three hundred seventy six (18.5%) responded they
had once in their life suffered a syncopal event. The average number of episodes was 2.5
± 6. Of those with syncope, 77% mentioned only one episode in their life. Syncope was
significantly more frequent in women than in men (22.1% vs. 13.8%, p<0.001). For 55.3%
of the individuals, syncope led to a medical consultation. The percentage of consultations
was higher in women (56% vs 53% ; p< 0.01) and among those who suffered more than one
episode (49% vs 63% ; p<0.01).
Conclusions: The prevalence of syncope is high. Three out of 4
individuals with syncope mention a single episode. It is more frequent among women.
Slightly more than half the population with syncope consults with a physician.
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