Sudden Deaths in Police Custody May Be Biological, Study Says
Posted Sep 2, 2008 1:18 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
A study by Spanish researchers of sudden deaths of young men who died soon after being arrested says a biological fear factor may be at least part of the answer to the unsolved mystery.
Just like wild animals, which can die suddenly when captured, humans taken into custody are stressed. Hence, researcher Manuel Martinez Selles of Madrid's Hospital Gregorio Maranon told the European Society of Cardiology today, there may be a significant biological factor in the deaths of nearly 60 men within 24 hours or less of being arrested by Spanish authorities, reports Reuters. The average age of the suspects was 33, and they had no prior history of heart disease.
"Just why they died remains a mystery but he believes young men, in particular, may experience surges in blood levels of chemicals known as catecholamines when under severe stress," the news agency writes. "Adrenaline is one of the most abundant catecholamines."