Tag Archives: marathan runners

MARATHON RUNNERS (MEN ONLY) SHOULD HAVE A ROUTINE HEART CHECK

Occasionally I’ll hear a news report of a participant in a marathon having a sudden cardiac arrest. Rare but dramatic, a recent study looked at the frequency of this event and predisposing factors.
Nearly all of the cardiac arrests were in men, so women need not really be concerned about this issue. The risk is approximately 1 in 200,000 (a very small risk indeed.)
The most common underlying condition was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an unknown heart condition associated with thickened heart muscle and the potential for arrhythmia. This condition is readily diagnosed by echocardiogram.
Male participants in traditional marathons should consider echocardiographic testing at some point, exclude this condition. In particular, men in the 30’s-50’s should be considered for such screening.