Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Young people dying from heart attacks?
Another young one bits the dust. I find that it is rather worrying that more and more young people are dying from heart attacks. In the papers today, it was reported that Antonio Puerta, a 22 years young footballer collapsed and died after suffering a cardiac arrest during Saturday’s Primera Liga game.
It is no longer the case where only the elderly are at risk of suffering cardiac arrests. And I would understand it if the young person is a smoker, or is a person suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure. But it is rather difficult to accept death when the person is a super athlete and is very young.
Checked around the web to find out if such cases of young athletes suffering from such attacks were uncommon. Came across an article by the Daily Mail, dated all the way back to 16th February 1999. The article read…
“The nine young people pictured here all died of a mysterious disease known as sudden adult death. Every week it claims the lives of an average of four people – making young heart attack almost as deadly as meningitis.
The victims, normally fit and healthy young men and women, usually die suddenly when their heart stops for no apparent reason. Some collapse and die while playing sport, whole others pass away in their sleep, all leaving their families devastated and bewildered.
A simple test can detect the illness, also known as Sudden Death Syndrome.
Sudden Death Syndrome is an umbrella term used for the many different causes of heart attacks in young people which can sometimes cause a sudden death.
There are 11 major causes of unexpected cardiac death in the young. These conditions include thickening of the heart muscle and irregularities of the electrical impulses, which upset the rhythm of the heart.”
To read more…
Apparently adolescence is the most vulnerable time as sporty youngsters tend to stress their heart most. It is not the sport that kills; it is due to an underlying condition of the heart.
Some of the symptoms include breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness and fainting spells. The simplest way to diagnose cardiac abnormalities is by having the ECG (electrocardiogram) test which records the electric impulses of the heart. The other test is the echocardiogram, which is normally recommended by Gregory House (MD), my favorite doctor.
In terms of statistics, the death toll is not alarming but it is just worrying nevertheless. Just something to keep in mind when we have young friends who are exercise freaks or physical activity nuts.