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SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome): It’s always about the vaccines

Antivaxxers are falsely claiming that COVID-19 vaccines have been causing an epidemic of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS, also a misnomer for Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome), because of course they are, and of course to them it’s all a “coverup.”

If there’s one consistent, invariable, seemingly eternal loadstar guiding the antivaccine movement, it’s that it’s always the vaccines. Autism? Vaccines. Autoimmune disorders? Vaccines? Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)? Vaccines. Just death? Vaccines. I was thinking of the last two examples when I came across an article by—who else?—Mike Adams written for his Natural News conspiracy site entitled Sudden vaccines deaths are now so common they’ve assigned a SYNDROME name for it: Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS):

The murderous medical regime knows that covid vaccines are killing healthy young people at an alarming rate, so they’ve suddenly assigned a medical label for the phenomenon in order to distract people from the truth. Now, healthy young people who suddenly die without any medical explanation are said to have died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) rather than from vaccines..

Unsurprisingly, SADS is not a new term. (I’ve encountered papers about it going back at least 15 years, and a nearly 20 year old paper defined it as sudden death without a structural cause or toxicological finding detected at autopsy, and “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome” is also a misnomer for the real term for which SADS is an acronym, “Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome,” meaning sudden death due to heart rhythm disturbances.) Adams concedes that SADS is not a new term (although he sticks with the misnomer), and then rapidly pivots to the conspiracy theory that “they” are now trying to hide all the supposed carnage due to COVID-19 vaccines by relabeling sudden deaths in young adults as being due to SADS, much as antivaxxers a decade and longer ago claimed that SIDS deaths were “really” vaccine-caused deaths:

While SADS has existed in medical terminology long before covid, doctors and the media are now using this syndrome label in a new way: To try to explain away vaccine deaths. From what we can tell so far, there are no such “sudden deaths” in unvaccinated young adults. So far, this seems to be happening solely among those who have been vaccinated.

The UK Daily Mail has published an article detailing this new so-called “syndrome” which is of course just a convenient label to mask the true underlying cause of these sudden deaths. The title of their article is, “Healthy young people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a mysterious syndrome – as doctors seek answers through a new national register,” and it says that everyone under the age of 40, “…may potentially be at risk of having Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).”

Again, this term is at least 20 years old, which tells you that it’s been happening for many, many years, and, in fact, the sudden death of young adults with no apparent cause is a long described phenomenon (more on that later). The paper I cited above estimated that in the UK no cause is found for roughly 4.1% of all sudden unexpected deaths under 65 years, while the Daily Mail article notes: “SADS is an ‘umbrella term to describe unexpected deaths in young people’, said The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, most commonly occurring in people under 40 years of age.”

It also notes:

The US-based SADS Foundation has said that over half of the 4,000 annual SADS deaths of children, teens or young adults have one of the top two warning signs present.

Those signs include a family history of a SADS diagnosis or sudden unexplained death of a family member, and fainting or seizure during exercise, or when excited or startled, reported news.com.au.

Last year a 31-year-old woman, Catherine Keane, died in her sleep while living with two friends in Dublin.

Most physicians know that SADS (whatever it is caused) happens and has always happened. We know how tragic such deaths are and, most of all, how puzzling they are to family, friends, and the physicians who take care of these patients. In general, such deaths tend to be due to conduction abnormalities in the heart, frequently congenital. Indeed, SADS standing for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome is actually a misnomer. SADS really stands for Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome, with arrhythmia meaning a heart rhythm abnormality, and the term was first observed in the 1970s and 1980s, when the CDC reported the observation of a “sudden, unexpected nocturnal death syndrome.”

It’s not clear to me why SADS is trending or why there have been several articles in the mainstream press in the UK, Canada, and Australia about SADS over the last few days, but it has, and Mike Adams, being the savvy propagandist that he’s always been, has picked up on it and woven it into a conspiracy theory:

Never before in the history of medicine have doctors and the media urged young people to “get their hearts checked.” This is only happening after the global push for covid vaccines which hijack the body’s cells and force them to create spike protein particles that cause blood clots.

Going on to say that “murderous doctors are killing young people en masse with “clot shots,” Adams adds:

You can’t make this up. The medical negligence, incompetence and even maliciousness behind all this is mind-boggling. Medical doctors who function as Big Pharma shills inject young people with gene therapy cocktails containing experimental mRNA sequences that produce spike proteins in the blood, contributing the artificial clotting. In some people, the clots build slowly over time, meaning many people are walking around with partially-formed blood clots in their circulatory system.

Because mRNA injections alter DNA and get incorporated into the genetic code — source: researchers from  Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)— some of the body’s cells continue to produce these pro-clotting spike proteins indefinitely.

The claim that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines somehow “permanently alter” your DNA is a false claim that arose almost as soon as the vaccines did. It’s not a new claim for vaccines—antivaxxers have long falsely claimed that vaccines can somehow permanently alter your DNA—but this distorted claim was rendered seemingly more plausible because antivaxxers could fear monger about the “scary” new technology used to produce the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Unsurprisingly, the study cited by Adams (in an article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense, naturally) has been thoroughly lambasted for severe methodologic shortcomings and did not show that the mRNA from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are reverse transcribed (copied from RNA in DNA form) and then integrated into the DNA of the cells that they enter.

Adams isn’t finished. (Is he ever?) He keeps trying to convince you that COVID-19 vaccines somehow permanently integrate the coding sequence for the spike protein into your genome:

Zhang even ran an experiment to test if SATS-CoV-2 viral fragments might incorporate themselves into human DNA:

With this in mind, Zhang and Jaenisch began to design experiments to test whether this viral integration could be happening with the novel coronavirus. With the help of Jaenisch lab postdoc Alexsia Richards, the researchers infected human cells with coronavirus in the lab and then sequenced the  DNA from infected cells two days later to see whether it contained traces of the virus’ genetic material.

In all samples, they found fragments of viral genetic material…

In other words, parts of the SARS-CoV-2 were incorporated into the DNA of human cells. Another researcher explains:

“There’s a very clear footprint for LINE1 integration,” Jaenisch says. “At the junction of the viral sequence to the cellular DNA, it makes a 20 base pair duplication. 

Anyone claiming spike protein genetic code can’t be incorporated into DNA is flatly ignorant of the state of modern genetic science.

Actually, no one says that the spike protein genetic code can’t be incorporated into DNA. It is theoretically possible, albeit incredibly unlikely. Again, the experiment by Zhang and Jaenisch is over a year old and has not been replicated. Again, the study was (deservedlyP thoroughly lambasted for severe methodologic shortcomings that rendered its results nigh uninterpretable and definitely not evidence that the coding sequence for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is reverse transcribed and somehow integrated into the genome of the cells that take up the mRNA from the vaccine. More recent experiments claiming to show that this happens have been no more convincing. People who think that the work by Zhang and Jaenisch last year demonstrate that spike protein coding sequence is integrated into the DNA of recipient cells are the ones flatly ignorant about the state of modern genetic science.

That describes Mike Adams, who has been known to cosplay a scientist to amusing effect, but does not stop him from continuing his propaganda. Of course, Adams doesn’t really care if Zhang and Jaenisch’s study supports his conspiracy theory. All he needs is a study—any study—that he can use to weave his narrative. Quality doesn’t matter. Whether it’s ever been replicated doesn’t matter. Whether it’s over a year old and thus by the standards of COVID-19 science downright ancient doesn’t matter. It just needs to support the narrative that COVID-19 vaccines somehow “permanently alter your DNA.”

As I like to do, just to play devil’s advocate, whenever this claim comes up, let’s just for the moment say that the vaccines could actually somehow “permanently alter your DNA” by inserting the coding sequence for spike protein into your genome. Even if that were true, it would mainly affect only a small number of muscle cells near the injection site that take up the mRNA and an even smaller number of immune cells. Muscle cells are terminally differentiated, which means that they no longer replicate. There’s nowhere for that “altered DNA” to go; it can’t be replicated. It will stay in the muscle cells, many of which will be destroyed by the immune response to the spike protein being manufactured. Similarly, as I’ve pointed out, although spike protein does find its way into the bloodstream, it only does so in truly infinitesimally small amounts, too small to do anything Adams claims.

Not that any of that stops him:

In summary, the murderous medical regime first injects billions of people with a biological weapon that might kill them, then they pretend to be shocked and surprised when so many healthy young adults start dying for no apparent medical reason. Do these medical monsters have no humanity (or scientific credibility) remaining at all?

Although this syndrome is called SADS, what’s really sad is that it was all done on purpose in order to achieve global depopulation. If anything, these deaths should be labeled, “Vaccine Depopulation Syndrome” deaths. But of course the media and the medial tyrants are working triple time to cover all this up, and they know that dead vaccine victims don’t talk, so they can’t tell the living humans to save themselves by avoiding these deadly jabs.

At this point, I find it hard not to note that not even Mike Adams claims that incidence of SADS has been increasing since December 2020, which is when the COVID-19 vaccines first rolled out. Wouldn’t you think that such an observation, at the very minimum, would be the prerequisite for even speculating that COVID-19 vaccines might be causing SADS? But even Mike Adams, confabulator of the wildest, most bizarre antivax conspiracy theories—even including a conspiracy between the global elite and aliens to use vaccines to depopulate the planet to profit from its natural resources—doesn’t say that SADS incidence is increasing, mainly because he can’t, at least not truthfully, and you know he would cite some evidence somewhere if he had it. Seriously, though, I’m surprised that he didn’t just lie and say that the incidence has been increasing.

Pediatricians and APRNs who do sports physicals and screenings know that SADS, while fairly rare, is not so rare that they don’t need to worry about it and try to screen for it. For example, this review article noted:

In this issue of Heart, Behr et al7 estimate mortality due to SADS from mortality statistics and a prospective survey of coroners’ evaluations from 117 jurisdictions in England. The coroners’ evaluation was extensive and included assessment of expert cardiac pathologists and home interviews of next of kin. The authors derive an estimated annual mortality of 0.16/100 000 people per year. This is substantially greater than that expected from the official ICD 798.1 category of sudden death (cause unknown—instantaneous death) of 0.10/100 000 people per year. Furthermore, they calculate that the number of potential SADS cases, on the basis of all ICD codes to which SADS could be assigned, is 1.34/100 000, a rate that is >8 times greater than the survey’s estimate.

But what causes SADS? There are a number of potential causes and hypotheses, as this article helpfully lays out:

Long QT syndrome. Long QT syndrome can be both genetic or caused by certain medications, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine . In a healthy heart, an electrical impulse causes the heart muscles to contract in a co-ordinated manner that we know as a heartbeat. In long QT syndrome, the cells take longer to recharge for the next heart beat than would be expected. This can lead to torsades de pointes , a potentially fatal heart rhythm in which the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart beat faster than the upper chambers (atria). There usually aren’t any symptoms for long QT, although some patients may experience heart palpitations, dizziness, fainting or seizures. It can also be diagnosed through an echocardiogram (ECG).

Brugada syndrome. A genetic condition in which sodium channels in the heart cells malfunction, Brugada syndrome causes an irregular heartbeat, according to Cedars-Sinai . In extreme circumstances, the lower ventricles of the heart may start to beat faster than the atria, which can lead to cardiac arrest. This condition is very rare, affecting roughly five of every 10,000 people globally.

Progressive cardiac conduction defect. A rare, genetic condition, progressive cardiac conduction defect slows the electrical impulses that make the heart beat, according to the British Heart Foundation . Over time, this can lead to a third-degree heart block , where the electrical impulses don’t reach from the top of the heart (atria) to the bottom (ventricles). Patients identified to have this type of heart rhythm may be fitted with a pacemaker to ensure their safety.

Other conditions associated with SADS include Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C), Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT), short QT syndrome, Wolff Parkinson White (WPW) syndrome, and Timothy syndromes.

SADS infographic
A typical infographic about SADS.

While the review article notes, and I will quote a rather long passage:

Over the past two decades, a large number of inherited arrhythmogenic syndromes that cause sudden death have been characterised. Some are associated with structural heart disease, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Others do not produce structural heart disease. Most are due to inherited abnormalites of cardiac ion channels, such as the long QT syndrome, short QT syndrome, familial catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia and Brugada syndrome.1 Many of these syndromes can be identified or suspected from a resting ECG or exercise test, but individually they are rare, and not commonly sought in routine health examinations The only symptoms that affected individuals’ experience are due to arrhythmias, such that the first manifestation of the disease is often cardiac arrest from polymorphic ventricular tachycardia degenerating to ventricular fibrillation and sudden death. Some affected individuals are more fortunate, experiencing non‐sustained arrhythmias, presenting as palpitations or syncope, leading to recognition of the disease and treatment. Other affected but asymptomatic or undiagnosed individuals are identified when a family member dies suddenly, and the possibility of a genetic abnormality is considered, leading to screening of the victim’s relatives. Unfortunately, a postmortem examination of the victim does not suggest the specific cause, and, all too frequently, the possibility of an inherited sudden death syndrome is not considered, or family members are not informed of the possibility when the autopsy is unrevealing.

SADS is, as you can see, an uncommon and mysterious event, with multiple possible causes and, worst of all, often no warning signs or vague warning signs, such as fainting, which can have a number of causes. That makes it perfect for antivaxxers to latch onto as being caused by vaccines.

In fact, this isn’t even the first time that antivaxxers have tried to associate SADS with vaccines, although they’ve never done it quite explicitly. Regular readers might remember back in the day how often antivaxxers tried to blame the sudden deaths of young women and adolescent girls on HPV vaccines like Gardasil, to the point of even making a documentary called Sacrificial Virgins to describe the alleged phenomenon. As sad as these deaths were, there was no evidence to demonstrate that HPV vaccines caused or contributed to them, and they were almost certainly due to SADS, even though SADS is much more common in males, for reasons that remain poorly understood.

As tragic as it is, a small number of young people do die suddenly every year all over the world, with no apparent anatomic or chemical cause found. SADS is, fortunately, a rare cause of death. It has also been widely studied for decades, making it nothing new, and there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are its cause and not even any evidence that its incidence has even been increasing. It is unsurprising that antivaxxers have decided that it must be due to vaccines, because to them every harm outside of trauma (and even sometimes then!) can be caused by vaccines.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

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DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

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24 replies on “SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome): It’s always about the vaccines”

It’s a bit like the way they use autism. The lack of a clearly identified cause gives anti-vaccine activists the perfect opportunity to cast fear, uncertainty and doubt.

And it’s natural for the families to be vulnerable to it at such a time (though the anti-vaccine movement has not hesitated to use deaths even when the family is not blaming vaccines to target others).

A not clearly described disorder, with an unidentified mechanism/cause, combined with incomplete data on something potential deadly that you’ve never heard about, does seem like a perfect combination for hysteria…

“Although this syndrome is called SADS, what’s really sad is that it was all done on purpose in order to achieve global depopulation. If anything, these deaths should be labeled, “Vaccine Depopulation Syndrome” deaths. ”

These global depopulizers are pretty incompetent. They should have just prevented the vaccine from being developed in the first place. COVID is much more efficient. At a few hundredths of a percent of the population the vaccine is pretty inefficient.

Actually, on the other blog someone has been making the argument that COVID and other wild acute diseases should be allowed to run free for depopulation purposes, so as to save the environment and spare us the longer suffering of the harder-to-solve chronic diseases. (But if we duly worship Nature enough, those wild diseases might spare us. If not, then we must accept Nature’s wisdom in choosing us to die.) Though it took a few days for them to actually admit they were going there, having started off with the usual talking points. And they never said that they or their loved ones specifically should be among the sacrificed, which I think is the hardest sell for any such argument. I draw the line at my loved ones, of course, and duly consider that they would not want to sacrifice me either.

“someone has been making the argument that COVID and other wild acute diseases should be allowed to run free for depopulation purposes…”

If everyone who thought this way would simply eliminate themselves, the problem would work itself out naturally. Why is it that people who say stuff like this never think depopulation applies to them? Instead, they put the burden on society to solve the problem.

I guess most of them are probably getting vaccinated…so maybe they subconsciously knew that.

@Ginnyn Stoner Seriously killig people is no way to solve problem I am not afrai that “vaccine depopulation” is happening.

Add this to the list of ‘vaccine injuries’ (sic), though really you nailed it by saying its always the vaccine to the Mike Addams of this world.

One thing about the “Plandemic” conspiracy is the perfect biowarefare virus.

Kills young and healthy people.
Kills within hours or days, depending on population density.
Has a high R0 (measles is 18)
Has no symptoms until you fall over dead.
Burns itself out in a week.

There’s an October2021 study by Dr. Su of the CDC Vaccine Safety Team that showed the number of cases of heart inflammation reported to VAERS was staggering compared to the number expected: 143 cases reported for males 12-15, when as little as 1 was expected; 139 cases reported for males 16-17, when just 0-4 were expected; and more. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2021-10-20-21/07-COVID-Su-508.pdf

Add to that the fact that more deaths have been reported to VAERS from the COVID19 vaccines in the last 18 months that from all other vaccines combined for the last 31 years.

But you’re claiming it’s silly to hypothesize that the COVID19 vaccines may be increasing the incidence of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome? Happy thoughts!

Myocarditis is not same thing as SADS. Latter is unexplained arhrythmia,latter is inflammation.

Where to you have “Add to that the fact that more deaths have been reported to VAERS from the COVID19 vaccines in the last 18 months that from all other vaccines combined for the last 31 years” tattooed? You do understand that heart inflammation does not equal death, don’t you? You have read the explanations of how VAERS works and what it is not, haven’t you?* Vaccines dēlenda est! (Apologies to Cato and my Latin teacher for that last.)

I am sure many regular readers know the answers to the last two questions.

Besides if you start vaccinating the old and vunerable people first, changes they will die after the vaccination, are bigger. This doesn’t mean they died because of the vaccination. Older people just have a bigger chance to to die. Other vaccines were mostly given to younger people, or children, which have less chance to die.

Add to that the fact that more deaths have been reported to VAERS from the COVID19 vaccines in the last 18 months that from all other vaccines combined for the last 31 years.

So, you’re just going to go sleazing from thread to thread trying to whore this one out?

You have still not answere these points:
a)Under EUA, doctors are legally required to report SAEs
b) You speak about all vaccines. Mortality of children is only 2% of avarage mortality

The use of the ‘rewriting DNA’ study puzzles me. The study uses SARS-cov-2. Meaning that, if the study was totally valid, catching covid would rewrite your DNA. So, if the vaccine ALSO rewrote your DNA then you’ll get it rewritten whatever you do wouldn’t it? Unless you think you can totally avoid infection…..

Is Adams encouraging people to buy sniper rifles?

“There are now 49 days until the election, which means the violent left-wing attempt to overthrow the nation and mass murder all Christians and conservatives is probably around 50 days away.

Do you have a rifle ready for your self-defense against this onslaught of violence and lunacy?…
Today, I’m posting a new video that reveals why sighting in your rifle at 100 yards is a huge mistake that will cost you a significant reduction in accuracy over extended ranges.”

Mike Adams on NN, 9/14/20

Side question: Does anyone know how easy or difficult it is to distinguish SADS from Commotio Cordis? I would imagine this to be a major diagnostic headache, especially in a case where there would be reason for either to occur in the patient.

I am no doctor, but I would guess that Commotio Cordis would often have some indication of injury, such as cracked ribs or bruising.

This condition is very rare, affecting roughly five of every 10,000 people globally.

Proof that even medical journals can have issues dealing with the law of large numbers at times. 5/10,000 is, after all, on the order of four million people world-wide. That’s bigger than the city of Toronto. I’m not sure that qualifies as ‘very rare’.

Earlier this week the 17-year-old daughter of Illinois congressman Sean Casten was reported to have died in her sleep. No cause of death has been released, but antivax vultures have been circling. Sample online comment:

“Although it is not clear and there is no evidence whether she was vaccinated or not but it is quite clear that since she supports it (Covid-19 vaccination) then it can be true that she was vaccinated.”

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