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Cardiac checkup

phil sphil s Posts: 1,128
Does anyone know of any cardiac check service that's available to athletes? I'm 38, getting back to racing and would like a clean bill of health before pushing myself hard. Especially after learning that a guy I knew died of a heart attack recently after finishing a race in Italy. My GP is pretty f*cking useless.
-- Dirk Hofman Motorhomes --

Posts

  • ddmrcpddmrcp Posts: 23
    Sad news re death. However, the rate of Sudden Cardiac Death (technical term) is quite low. A survey of athletes in the USA showed less than 100 deaths per year.
    Your GP - If you say you are pro cycling he will almost certainly label you a hypochondriac. :lol:
    If there is any reassurance neede then he can at least do an ECG - does not rule out problems entirely though.
    A treadmill test is really only for those with suspected heart disease, but you could pay privately to get one. Still does not exclude that SCD will not occur, but more reassuring.

    So a couple of things you can do, but bike accident fatalites hugely outnumber any SCD events. Youll always be at higher risk of an accident event.
    Good luck
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    Don't worry too much about it, if you suddenly die you wont notice.

    However, having an ECG and being told you have long QT syndrome (which the only real sympton is sudden cardiac death) is not an experience I wish upon anyone.

    Be it on your own head if you choose to know the truth! Sometimes its best not to :wink:
  • phil sphil s Posts: 1,128
    To be honest, I never used to worry about anything but fatherhood has given me a sudden sense of mortality. I sympathise with your predicament, eyon, and maybe it's better not to know but i do sometimes wonder about cycling, in particular racing, where you can really push to higher levels of stress than most people imagine. I guess because this was kind of personal, and the guy was so fit and outwardly healthy, that it's a shock.
    -- Dirk Hofman Motorhomes --
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    SCD can strike anyone, remember that footballer who just dropped dead on the field once? Thats what got him. Its not common at all, and even the conditions that cause it are more common, the symptoms are very rare.

    Fortunately for myself, after several thousands of pounds being spent (enough for a nice bike lets say!) and more tests than I care to think they concluded that my condition was potentially benign.

    The majority of these SCD conditions will show themselves in early teenage years as fainting. Small changes to the environment, such as the telephone ringing, would be enough to cause the heart to go a bit crazy and make you faint. Also arrhythmias and so on appear after that, and the chances of living to 20 is very slim. I'm 22.

    If you've spent your life with no previous heart issues its very unlikely that at the age of 38 you will have any. I'm no doctor but most of these things manifest in earlier life. You're more of a risk to "normal" heart problems than of SCD type problems.

    If you're really wanting the once over, check yourself into a heart hospital privately, get the works done and get the all clear from the cardiologist, but dont expect change from £1k
  • Mark BomMark Bom Posts: 184
    Its true that having kids makes you consider your own mortaility but getting out on the bike is surely going to improve your health rather than worry about pegging it as a result of riding.

    As others have said, if there is something badly wrong, you'll probably die prematurely anyway, but if not then you improve your health and enjoy seeing your kids grow up longer!

    Its the people who don't exercise that take the chances with their health!
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    Eyon wrote:
    If you've spent your life with no previous heart issues its very unlikely that at the age of 38 you will have any. I'm no doctor but most of these things manifest in earlier life.

    completely agree with this. Unless you have any previous personal or family history of heart issues, I would just get on with it.

    disclaimer - I'm not a doctor either...
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    I think the health benefits of regular exercise would far outweigh the risks when it comes to heart disease (assuming you have no prior condition).

    I am not a doctor either!
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Eyon wrote:
    Also arrhythmias and so on appear after that, and the chances of living to 20 is very slim. I'm 22.

    Actually, in most case, the chances of not living to 20 is very slim! Arrythmias are very common and many people are never aware that they have such a condition. A relatively small number of them are of the sort where one hit kills you.

    Put it another way, if you want to get into racing a crash is far more likely to kill you than an as yet undiscovered heart condition.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    Rolf F wrote:
    Eyon wrote:
    Also arrhythmias and so on appear after that, and the chances of living to 20 is very slim. I'm 22.

    Actually, in most case, the chances of not living to 20 is very slim! Arrythmias are very common and many people are never aware that they have such a condition. A relatively small number of them are of the sort where one hit kills you.

    Put it another way, if you want to get into racing a crash is far more likely to kill you than an as yet undiscovered heart condition.

    I was referencing the condition which I have, in which the common outcome is SCD before your 20s. I understand arrythmias are "common", trust me as you can imagine, I've done my research into this one! :wink:
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Fair enough - it sounded there that you were generalising on arythmias and it made it sound a bit scary! My variation on the theme is pretty benign so I do nothing for it. Hope things remain OK with you!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    True, it does look as though I was making it look worse than things normally are, I was mealy trying to point out that if you've made it to 38 there is next to no chance there is something inherently wrong with you. Sadly cardiology is both a terrifying and complex topic, hardly one for fun reading on the internet!
  • mouthmouth Posts: 1,195
    I'd go with the above, as to say if you haven't experienced any problems by now, you're probably 'clean'. Unless there is a family history of health/heart troubles I wouldn't be concerned. I MUST HOWEVER STATE THAT I AM ALSO NOT A DOCTOR.

    If you were to contact the medical department of your racing organisation (I assume British Cycling) I'm sure they could point you in the right direction for a relevant specialist.

    Also, I recently saw a post on another forum which was asking for volunteers at the local Sports Science college to become a subject for a long term investigation into sports science stuff (mostly aerobic tolerances etc I think). Maybe it could be worth doing one of those as they're free (you don't get paid but it's nice to know that a. you are helping someone else and b. you get the results), thus saving you money from medical testing and allowing you to further invoke the rule N+1.......
    The only disability in life is a poor attitude.
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    At the end of the day you could have tests to your hearts content with nothing really showing and still pop your clogs..

    Being a roadie, I would be more worried about getting hit by a bus or alike....therefore I would do the decent thing and hang up the gay lycra and turn to mountain biking...comfortable clothes that you can breathe in and beautiful views and not a bus or car in sight.
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Pudseyp wrote:
    At the end of the day you could have tests to your hearts content with nothing really showing and still pop your clogs..

    Being a roadie, I would be more worried about getting hit by a bus or alike....therefore I would do the decent thing and hang up the gay lycra and turn to mountain biking...comfortable clothes that you can breathe in and beautiful views and not a bus or car in sight.

    Did you come to the road forum specially to call everyone here gay? Maybe there's something in your own sexuality you aren't comfortable with?

    censored
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    "...comfortable clothes that you can breathe in and beautiful views and not a bus or car in sight"

    And a long wait for the ambulance when you do have that unexpected cardiac mishap, or fall off and break your face on a rock??
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    No...because if your going to have a cardiac mishap, it could happen when digging the garden, walking up stairs etc etc as for falling off we MTB'ers wear things called "helmets" something that road goers are not aware of judging by the ammount I see not wearing them..

    At the end of the day stop worrying about the "what if's" just man up get on your bike no matter what it is (prefferably with a helmet and without the gay lycra) and enjoy it....

    (Ref the lycra...If I wore it in a club you would say it was a bit gay...so why is it different on a bike)
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    In summary: man up, put on some nice 'downhill pyjamas' and don't be gay. You will probably not have a heart attack.
  • rdtrdt Posts: 869
    Pudseyp wrote:
    No...because if your going to have a cardiac mishap, it could happen when digging the garden, walking up stairs etc etc as for falling off we MTB'ers wear things called "helmets" something that road goers are not aware of judging by the ammount I see not wearing them..

    At the end of the day stop worrying about the "what if's" just man up get on your bike no matter what it is (prefferably with a helmet and without the gay lycra) and enjoy it....

    (Ref the lycra...If I wore it in a club you would say it was a bit gay...so why is it different on a bike)

    +1

    - Always wear a helmet when walking up stairs in case a cardiac mishap should cause a fall.

    - Lycra bibs interfere with successful gloryholing - choose loose fitting comfortable clothing instead.
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Pudseyp wrote:
    (Ref the lycra...If I wore it in a club you would say it was a bit gay...so why is it different on a bike)
    By that logic... oh forget it.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • mouthmouth Posts: 1,195
    Pudseyp wrote:
    Ref the lycra...If I wore it in a club you would say it was a bit gay...so why is it different on a bike

    Specific sports gear is acceptable. If for instance you were doing your weekly shopping at Tesco (other supermarkets are available) and someone walked past in their full Man Utd kit you'd think "what a (gentleman's genital - choose own noun)". If he were down at Powerleague playing 5aside that'd be OK.
    The only disability in life is a poor attitude.
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