A young 25-year-old male runner collapsed at Ras Al Khaimah (Rak) Marathon during the race last week.
The young runner was immediately provided treatment and taken to the hospital where the investigation revealed the thickening of the ventricular walls (lower chambers) in the heart and raised cardiac enzymes suggesting cardiac injury.
He is undergoing further cardiac investigations to rule out markers of sudden cardiac death.
Dr Ajay Kumar Kanojia, Director-Cardiac Services, Rak Hospital, said: “While cardiac death in the young is unlikely, it can strike without warning, and affect elite athletes as well as ordinary young people. Extreme exercise such as marathons may permanently damage the heart and trigger rhythm abnormalities. Exercise itself is rarely life threatening, especially when compared with the alternative (not exercising). However, it does make sense, to ask your doctor about cardiac screening, especially if you're planning to start (or significantly ramp up) a personal exercise routine. Cardiac screening is important for seasoned athletes as well as for rank beginners”. “Stress of Marathon can take a toll on your heart and the exercise induced injuries can take from weeks to months to completely recover. Runners need to train properly, stay hydrated, and most importantly, speak to their physicians about what is right for them.”
Symptoms that should prompt physician evaluation prior to participation are chest pain, shortness of breath or excessive fatigue with exercise, unexplained passing out or near passing out spells, prior history of a heart murmur, elevated blood pressure, risk factors that should prompt physician evaluation prior to participation, a first-degree relative who either dies or was disabled from heart disease prior to age 50 and specific knowledge of a family history of cardiac disease.
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