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Athletes and anyone about to embark on an exercise program should ensure they have an exercise stress test to ensure they don't have any underlying heart problems. Sudden death caused by heart attack occurs in 2 per 100,000 athletes aged 12 to 35 and is the leading cause of non-traumatic death in athletes. The rate in non-athletic populations is 0.7 per 100,000. Physicians will also need to determine the existence of other symptoms to ascertain if a heart abnormality exists. Symptoms to look out for include chest tightness, dizziness after exercise and high cholesterol. A famous soccer player died last year during a soccer match from an undiagnosed enlarged ventricle. A gifted basketballer died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy during a basketball game. A figure skater died while practicing on the ice from a heart attack caused by a blocked artery and high blood pressure. Pre-existing heart abnormalities cause about 90% of sudden heart deaths in athletes with the other 10% caused by heat stroke and banned drugs such as erythropoietin. Amateurs also need to ensure they have good heart health before they begin an exercise regime.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Globe And Mail
About: People about to begin an exercise program as well as athletes need to be checked for heart abnormalities
Date: 11 January 2005
Source: Globe And Mail
Author: James Christie
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