Marathon 01

Running is one activity where the cardiac muscles come into play. With regards to this aspect, the safety of running races and marathons has become a matter of concern. Nevertheless, ardent runners could be relieved as scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital have disclosed that marathon or half-marathon participation may not be linked to growing risk for cardiac arrest.

For the analysis, information regarding cardiac arrest incidences taking place at the beginning or conclusion of US marathons between 2000 to mid-2010 was inspected. Additionally, surveys, interviews, medical records, autopsy data and post cardiac arrest testing were taken into account as per requirement.

“This study provides the first accurate, comprehensive characterization of cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death risk in this population. The general consensus – based on intense media coverage of cardiac arrests that happen during these races – has been that the risk was very high. But we found that the risk of cardiac arrest for marathon and half-marathon runners is equal to or less than the risk for other athletes – including triathletes, college athletes and casual joggers. This finding provides important reassurance that this is a generally safe and well tolerated activity,” remarked Aaron Baggish, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program in the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) division of Cardiology and senior author of the study.

The findings basically revealed that participating in such races was apparently associated with lower risk for cardiac arrest. Also, most participants who were found to have encountered cardiac arrest while running appeared to have undiagnosed and already existing cardiac difficulties. Most of the instances were related to male marathon runners. Apparently, bystander-induced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) came forward as a vital avenue for boosting survival among patients.

The scientists received detailed data on 31 participants affected by cardiac arrest. Out of the 23 who succumbed to it, 15 persons suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which was expected. Also, 9 of them had other cardiac abnormalities. Moreover, coronary disease and acute coronary plague rupture did not seem to be related in any way.

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.