Investigating sudden cardiac death of Nepali migrants in Malaysia

Summary: Investigating sudden cardiac death of Nepali labour migrants in Malaysia (on-going)

Sudden cardiac death (SCD), often during sleep, is a particular concern among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia and the Gulf countries. The Government of Nepal documented 1,608 SCDs in Malaysia and the Gulf during 2009 and 2017, accounting for 27.3% of total deaths there. In Malaysia, at least around 100 Nepali die due to SCDs every year. About 3.5 million Nepali work abroad as a migrant worker and Malaysia is one of the key destinations. In 2019, there are 327,529 documented Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia.

The deceased migrant workers from SCDs are young (under 35 years), apparently healthy, have undergone pre-departure and post-arrival health checks, and without symptoms of illness. The causes of SCDs are not fully understood yet. Usually comprehensive post-mortems of migrant workers are not performed in Malaysia and the Gulf, and thus post-mortem reports do not include specific causes of deaths. In addition, the health history of the dead migrant workers is usually unavailable from medical sources/facilities, immigration offices, nor the Embassy of Nepal, which further limits capacity to trace the causes of death. Police reports usually comprise mainly of second-hand information.
This interdisciplinary collaboration bring together experts in public health, epidemiology, social science and clinical medicine. The overall scientific objective of this research is to provide new and incisive evidence on the aetiology of SCDs of South Asian labour migrant workers in Malaysia. Specific research objective is to develop and administer verbal autopsy tool which may help to better understand underlying key risk factors triggering SCDs among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia.
For further information: Please contact Dr. Nirmal Aryal (