Home / News / World /  How common are gym-related cardiac arrests? Study reveals crucial data

Busting a common myth, a recent study has cited that sudden cardiac arrest incidents that are linked to sporting activities are very rare occurrences. That is, 2 or 3 such incidents are seen per 1,00,000 older individuals annually. 

Data showed 77 (1.9%) of the 4,078 sudden cardiac arrest instances in adults aged around 65 are linked to activities like exercise, including cycling, working out at the gym, running, or playing tennis or golf. 

Further, looking into the available data, researchers cited, most individuals who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during or right after exercise were suffering from fewer cardiovascular risk factors and other health issues. For this, the researchers studied available reports for 3,162 cardiac arrest cases and 47 cases of sports-related cardiac arrest. 

The report also cited that people who experienced sports-related cardiac arrest were also more likely to experience it in a public location, and hence, the survival chances are much higher. 

The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.

A sudden cardiac arrest occurs when an electrical malfunction causes a person's heart to stop beating. This is an extremely dangerous event, with most people dying within minutes. The good news is that in recent years, the occurrence of sudden cardiac arrest has decreased among people of working age. But for older people, the rates of sudden cardiac arrest have increased.

Exercise is one of the most heart-healthy habits to engage in. In rare cases, however, it can trigger an irregular heart rhythm that leads to sudden cardiac arrest.

People who died from sudden cardiac arrest during sports activity or within one hour of the activity were categorized as having a sports-related sudden cardiac arrest.

The findings reveal that even though sports activity is steadily rising in older adults, sudden cardiac arrest triggered by sports activity is uncommon. Furthermore, people who have sudden cardiac arrest with exercise tend to have fewer comorbidities and cardiovascular risk factors than people who have sudden cardiac arrest not triggered by exercise. Taken together, the benefits of sports activity likely outweigh the risk of associated sudden cardiac arrest risk, the authors conclude.

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