A new study has focused on the belief that all sudden cardiac arrests are caused by sports. Although many cases occur every year while people are exercising, the condition can happen in other circumstances. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that 72 percent of the sudden cardiac arrests happened in the individuals’ homes.
Sudden Cardiac Arrests
A sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) tends to be wrongly associated with heavy exercise and involves the heart suddenly stopping. Many cases are documented that involve healthy adults within normal weight ranges who have no prior histories of heart problems. Sudden cardiac arrests can lead to death, but defibrillators have saved lives.
The causes of SCA vary greatly, and researchers are still puzzled by why they occur. Sudden cardiac arrests can affect any member of the population and do not seem to depend on hereditary or other factors. The large number of healthy athletes who succumb to SCA ever year is a disturbing trend that is still being analyzed. Although prior heart conditions seem to be a factor in some cases, there are many instances that the health history of the individuals is not significant.
Exercise and Sudden Cardiac Arrests
The study from the University of British Columbia revealed that sudden cardiac arrests are usually not linked to exercise. They examined 174 cases of deaths caused by SCA and found that 72 percent of them happened in the individuals’ homes while they were not doing any type of strenuous exercise. They also found a disturbing trend of unrecognized heart problems among the majority of the individuals.
Sudden cardiac arrest tends to be associated with a surprise factor because many of the people do not have a history of heart issues. However, the researchers discovered that 78 percent of the victims had some type of heart disease that was not previously documented. This means that the condition could be preventable with proper screening. The researchers blame the media for only focusing on the elite athletes who die from SCA and ignoring the large portion of cases not linked to any type of exercise. They believe that screening tests need to be created to diagnose difficult to find heart problems.
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Lana has a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry. She is an avid athlete, youth coach and follows several sports. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.