For Runners, Heat Stroke May Be a Bigger Danger Than Heart Attack
the MPR take:
A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology sought to find out whether heat stroke or a cardiac cause was more likely to cause a life-threatening event in a person participating in an endurance race. Researchers examined long distance races in Tel Aviv from March 2007 to November 2013; 137,580 runners were included in the study data. In this group only two serious cardiac events occurred, neither of which were fatal or life-threatening. However, 21 serious cases of heat stroke were reported within this time period, with two of these cases being fatal and 12 being life-threatening. This research points to the fact that heat stroke should get just as much, if not more attention, as arrhythmic death in endurance race participants. The study results also call into question the need for ECG screening before racing as a preventative measure for sudden death in athletes.
BACKGROUND: Two important causes of sudden death during endurance races are arrhythmic death and heat stroke. However, “arrhythmic death” has caught practically all the attention of the medical community whereas the importance of heat stroke is less appreciated. OBJECTIVES: The study sought to determine what percentage of life-threatening events during endurance races are due to heat stroke or cardiac causes....