Prevention of sudden death during sports training

Practicing sports plays a very important role in life, but some people with underlying cardiovascular disease need to be carefully evaluated by a cardiologist before participating in moderate or severe exercise, in order to avoid the risk of promoting sudden worsening cardiovascular abnormalities during training.

In some cases, sudden death can occur during sports practice, especially in people who exercise with a strong intensity, patients with unknown underlying cardiovascular diseases, and people who have little previous exercise.

Causes of sudden death in people practicing sports

Sudden cardiac death is a sudden failure of the heart, unable to maintain the activity of pumping blood into the circulatory system to nourish important organs in the body.

Sudden cardiac death can be caused by one of the causes of abnormal electrical activity in the heart (abnormal heart rhythm), cardiomyopathy, heart valve abnormalities, or blood vessel abnormalities that feed the heart.

If the person has one of these abnormalities, vigorous exercise can promote sudden worsening abnormalities and life-threatening risks.

Sudden death rates among athletes are rare, accounting for only 1 in 50,000 to 80,000 professional athletes per year.

This ratio depends on the intensity of movement, age and gender.

In particular, men accounted for 3-9 times higher proportions than women, and the rate was higher in people who exercised with prolonged intensity or older athletes with cardiovascular disease.

According to a survey, the most common causes of sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes under the age of 35 include: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, coronary artery abnormalities, arrhythmias …

Meanwhile, athletes over the age of 35, the cause of atherosclerosis (80%) is the most common.

People who need cardiovascular disease screening before practicing sports

Most young people, or people with underlying medical conditions such as hypertension, blood fat disorders, diabetes mellitus that have been treated consistently before, can participate in light to moderate intensity sports practice without screening for underlying cardiovascular diseases.

3 groups of people who practice sports should consult a cardiologist: Sedentary people or people at high risk of cardiovascular diseases such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome,… want to train intense physical strength or compete in fighting sports (basketball, football, badminton …);

Persons who already know underlying heart diseases such as heart failure, coronary heart disease (myocardial anemia) ,…; People with cardiovascular abnormalities (electrocardiogram abnormalities, echocardiograms, etc.) or who are having symptoms of cardiovascular disease (nervousness, chest pain, abnormal shortness of breath, fainting… ).

“Intense exercise is when the heart rate increases to more than 75% of the maximum predicted heart rate of the practitioner (take 220 minus age) and we can’t talk, even communicate a few words during the workout;

The average-intensity exercise is when the heart rate increases by more than 65% of the predicted maximum heart rate and we can still communicate and talk to each other in short sentences while practicing.