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Young fit men and heart attacks!!

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Jul 6, 2009
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here is another case of this an old friend who was 39 recently died of what was thought to be drug(amphetamine) use related death. i to assumed as much knowing the person but later after autopsy it was found that an unknown heart defect was to blame and no drugs were found the individual was lean and otherwise healthy. her sister when checked showed the same unknown defect genetic evidently it happens. heart disease/heart related ailments #1 killer of humans worldwide of all kinds. #2 cancer.
 
Jul 27, 2010
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Macknulty said:
I see I have generated some worthy discussion and I accept there are many reasons why people have heart attacks and heart related problems in sport. But can anyone dispel the recent story I read of pro-cyclists having to get up at night in hotel rooms to start pedaling on their trainers to keep their blood pumping because of coagulation caused by dosages of EPO.
Oh... I am a cyclist and have been racing for 5 years, so I am not a mug.


This, probably apocryphal, story has been doing the rounds for years....it stems from the idea that having exceptionally thick blood (as a Haematocrit of 60% would lead you to) coupled with the slow resting heart rate that a lot of elite endurance athletes have, and which slows even more during sleep, could lead the heart to literally stop.

However, two aspirin before bed (to thin the blood)and a large glass of water was probably the more likely practice.

But, yes, there were undoubdetly, some suspicious deaths that were linked to the unsupervised and irresponsible abuse of EPO.
 
Mar 14, 2009
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Macknulty said:
I see I have generated some worthy discussion and I accept there are many reasons why people have heart attacks and heart related problems in sport...

A good topic. All I can add to it is that if you have a history of heart disease and engage in higher level exercise you should go to see a specialist. I did this when I turned 40 a couple of years ago, and underwent stress tests etc etc. The specialist I saw had a particular interest in geneology, which was useful as I have a history of heart disease with both maternal and peternal lines. His advice to me was to keep up the exercise!

Interestingly, the day I went for my stress test the guy before me looked familar. Turns out he was the brother of my accoutnant, who had died the weekend before after suffering a heart attack during a game of rugby - he was 32 years old.

While I know seeking advice is not a guarantee I will not suffer a major heart attack after a hard race or training session (we've had long term local racing cyclists go to seek advice after they felt a bit unwell, get the "all clear" from their specialist, and die from a amssive heart atatck a week or two later), but at least I know I have gone out of my way to see if there is some latent problem.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I tend to think that we get a warped vision of all of this because we only hear about the famous ones (who coincidentally tend to be sportspeople). Think about it, how many people in the under 30 age group can you name that you have never met (ie are famous to a certain degree)? And how many of THOSE are well known because they play a particular sport?

Do we actually ever hear about 'unknowns' dying?

a few months ago an Australian enduro mtb racer died at a race in South Africa - we heard all about it.

3 and a half weeks ago my non-athlete cousin aged 24 died in his sleep on his brother's sofa. Did anyone hear about that?
 
Mar 4, 2010
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saw a program on identical twins recently.

1 lived in england. ate pies and fries and drank ale like it was water, and smoked. he said himself he preferred the elbow exercise than to walk to the pub. never exercised

the other lived in new zealand. ate healthy didn't smoke or drink and did regular exercise

the UK twin had a heart attack (surprise) and the doctors reccomended that the twin in NZ get a checkup. he did but didnt think it was going to be necessary. Turns out he was very close to having a heart attack himself and ended up having major surgery.

they were about 40 years old


sometimes it's genetics that determines if you'll have heart problems, not lifestyle
 
Jul 17, 2009
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durianrider said:
I know 4 guys I used to train/race with that have died from heart failure. All were under age 35. One was 26.

My mate emailed me one morning to talk more about 'cleaning up his diet' as he had been diagnosed with a heart conditions his doctors said 'has nothing to do with diet and isnt improved with diet.'. I highlighted the fact that fellow South Ozy, Stuart Ogrady had a clogged artery despite riding over 30 000km a year for almost 10 year prior.

My friend sent me an email to organise a time to catch up during the week. He turned his computer off and headed up norton summit and died from a fatal heart attack.

Nobody has a crystal ball and nobody knows exactly if a dietary/ lifestyle change can save a life but lets have a crack at least.

This is a good book whilst we are on topic.
http://www.heartattackproof.com

Good link. I have been interested your diet for some of these reasons actually.

it goes with out saying that it is a complex organ. SO complex that MD's spend entire careers on one portion of the heart.....There are specialist for upper ventricle. lower ventricle, electrical mapping, etc....

I have found that most specialists however deal with a fine sample survey of the population. Which, BTW are not endurance athletes. Finding a doctor who knows one specific condition and who knows how it relates to elite aerobic training is near impossible. There simply is not enough sample survey of our population to provide formidable and conclusive evidence with the number of possible symptoms and conditions of the heart itself IMHO

I am no doctor but I deal with arrhythmia and do everything in my power to keep off the beta blockers ....nutrition, sleep, avoid alcohol, coffee, etc.

I have had 2 cardiac ablation procedures.

I think it should also be stated that diet and coronary artery disease is not the only condition leading to heart attack.

family history is an issue and EVERYone should look into theirs IMHO

Electrical arrhythmia and valve disfunction are more typical in elite athletes with good diet, cholesterol and open arteries

I was told by my specialist (and I say this in layman's terms so don't hold me to the medical book) (and I am not playing Dr. on the internet)....arrhythmia, or imbalance of valve timing, can lead to fainting or perhaps death. the heart is beating but it is not pushing blood. if not a heart attack and death, blood clots can form and lead to stroke later or the imbalance episode can cause scaring on the tissue and scar tissue can create electrical dysfunction later...

now you can hold me to this layman's advice below:

as a simple start prolonged dehydration and electrolyte imbalance should be watched all of us as they allegedly can disrupt the electrical system and potentially cause arrhythmia which may or may not lead to ...

Hayden Roulston allegedly cured his condition with Reiki treatment. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/sport/local-sport/4082

I've looked into it but it seems kind Hippie IYKWIM
 
Jul 27, 2010
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Boeing said:
....Finding a doctor who knows one specific condition and who knows how it relates to elite aerobic training is near impossible.

This all seems a very well informed post....I would add finding a Doctor who knows how a specific condition relates to any "serious", not just elite, aerobic exercise is pretty hard.
 
May 6, 2009
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German (although he was born in Ghana) footballer Gerald Asamoah (who is 31) suffers from hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) (thanks, wiki). Ergo he dopes?
 
Jul 13, 2010
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straydog said:
This, probably apocryphal, story has been doing the rounds for years....it stems from the idea that having exceptionally thick blood (as a Haematocrit of 60% would lead you to) coupled with the slow resting heart rate that a lot of elite endurance athletes have, and which slows even more during sleep, could lead the heart to literally stop.

However, two aspirin before bed (to thin the blood)and a large glass of water was probably the more likely practice.

But, yes, there were undoubdetly, some suspicious deaths that were linked to the unsupervised and irresponsible abuse of EPO.

Scarier than aspirin are the stories about some riders using warfarin or heparin and therefore risking much more severe bleeding, including internal bleeding, in the event of a crash. I believe one forum member can testify to this.
 
Apr 5, 2010
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Realist said:
Scarier than aspirin are the stories about some riders using warfarin or heparin and therefore risking much more severe bleeding, including internal bleeding, in the event of a crash. I believe one forum member can testify to this.

You're talking about Joe Papp? I think he puts it all out there on his website. On a related note, the NHL draft does stress testing to reveal latent heart problems in young prospects. Bad heart = no draft.

Regarding the OP, I doubt anybody starts taking PEDs thinking, "wow, this sh!t is gonna make me live forever." You should check out Papp's site for any interesting description of what goes on in a pro's head when he starts using.