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South Med J. 2002 Sep;95(9):1047-9.

Sudden cardiac death of an adolescent during dieting.

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  • 1Department of Child Health and Anesthesiology, University of Missouri, Columbia 65212, USA.


We describe a 16-year-old girl who had sudden onset of cardiorespiratory arrest while at school. She had recently attempted weight loss using a low-carbohydrate/high-protein, calorie-restricted dietary regimen that she had initiated on her own. During resuscitation, severe hypokalemia was noted. At postmortem examination, no other causes for the cardiac arrest were identified. Toxicologic findings were negative. The potential role of the dietary regimen as a contributing factor to the hypokalemia and subsequent cardiac arrest are discussed.

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