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What are the common causes of cardiac arrest in athletes? expert opinion

Heart attacks are not uncommon in athletes, including cricketers and other sportsmen. Although they have the same risk factors as the general population, there are some risk factors that are more prevalent in athletes. According to Dr. Ranjan Shetty, who is HOD and Consultant, Interventional Cardiology at Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road, “An important point is that most people who experience a heart attack or cardiac arrest are around the age of 30. They are almost always caused by a blockage. This blockage can be minor and need not be serious, such as a blockage of more than 50% or 70%. In the case of athletes, if they neglect proper self-care and fail to engage in a warm-up or cool-down. The stress placed directly on their body from exercise, sports, or strenuous activity can cause plaque rupture, which, in turn, can lead to a heart attack. Could.”

Factors that can cause cardiac arrest in athletes:

Dr. Ranjan Shetty said, “Smoking is another significant concern for athletes and young individuals. Sometimes, this history of smoking may go undetected which can create a risk factor for heart attack. Additionally, when looking at younger individuals under the age of 35, those who have a heart attack are most likely due to a genetic heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which causes sudden cardiac death in young people, especially athletes. The most common cause of coronary artery disease is coronary artery disease. However, those over the age of 35 are at a higher risk of having coronary artery disease. Thus, caution is important for anyone doing physical activity around the age of 35. If they If there are minor blockages that are not treated, any kind of physical or mental stress can lead to a sudden heart attack.”

Lower frequency of cardiac arrest in female players:

Dr A Ravikant, senior cardiologist at Kamineni Hospital, LB Nagar, Hyderabad, said, “The lower frequency of cardiac arrest during sporting activities in women compared to men may be attributed to a combination of several factors. Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, is believed to have protective effects on blood vessels, maintaining healthy blood flow and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. “Women’s smaller heart size and different heart structures promote efficient blood circulation, reducing cardiovascular workload and reducing the risk of sudden cardiac events.”

,Women also have a lower prevalence of coronary artery disease, a common cause of cardiac arrest, making them less likely to develop plaque in the coronary arteries. Differences in exercise patterns and the lower incidence of cardiovascular risk factors in men contribute to the observed discrepancy. Additionally, women’s proactive approach to health, including early detection and prevention through regular checkups and screenings, reduces the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest during physical exertion. “In addition, psychological factors such as stress and competitive pressure in men’s sports may also play a role in the higher incidence of cardiac arrest during sporting activities in men,” he said.

Prevention Tips for Spokespeople:

Talking about prevention strategies for players, Dr. Ranjan Shetty suggested the following:

  • Do proper warm-up, gradually involve yourself in sports, manage stress and follow a healthy lifestyle.
  • Athletes should also prioritize sleep hygiene and maintain the discipline required for their profession.
  • The question of whether to skip dinner or breakfast is always controversial, with studies providing contradictory evidence. However, the key is to practice moderate overall calorie restriction.
  • The method of intermittent fasting or periodic detox days can be good for weight management. But, when we talk about cricketers and athletes, they do not need to follow such practices as they already exercise four times more than normal people.
  • Thus, it is necessary for their diet to be rich in calories with a higher intake of carbohydrates, especially when they constantly burn a substantial amount of energy through their training and sports.

How good nutrition can enhance sports performance

Aruna Mallya, senior dietitian at KMC Hospital, Mangalore, said,The nutritional needs of cricketers are different and unique and the focus on nutrients should be before the match, after the match and during the match day. The stamina to stand on the pitch for hours batting, bowling overs and fielding requires a lot of energy and stamina and this can only be done when the player takes a nutritious balanced diet.”

He suggested the following:

  • Nutrition plays an important role before and during the match.
  • For a player to remain match fit, the player needs to consume adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates and high biological value proteins as well as fluids and maintain an ideal body weight.
  • Strength training and consistent exercise burn calories faster so they require the same amount of carbohydrates.
  • The amount of carbohydrates a player can consume depends on his activity level and for recovery after the match.
  • Meals should be taken 3-4 hours before the match.
  • The constant exercise, climatic conditions and the clothes they wear make them overheat and sweat more, due to which dehydration is often seen.
  • Therefore, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking sports drinks or electrolyte drinks.
  • Dehydration affects performance by causing confusion, low concentration levels and cramps during the match.
  • Replacing fluid losses helps maintain muscle function.
  • The post-match diet should include increased intake of complex carbohydrates especially whole grains to replenish muscle glycogen stores, good hydration to compensate for fluid loss, and a good amount of high protein including egg whites. , should include soy protein, low-fat milk. , cheese, low fat meat, pulses, nuts, low fat curd, tofu etc. along with fruits and vegetables.
  • Less healthy fats can be used because they take a long time to digest and are rich in calories.
  • Sports drinks are rich in calories as well as glucose, so they should be consumed in moderation.
  • A banana, a glass of skim milk, a handful of nuts or curd would be a healthy option.
  • In case of any vitamin or mineral deficiency, supplements may be advised by the treating doctor.

(Disclaimer: The information provided in the article, including treatment suggestions shared by doctors, is for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified professional regarding any medical condition. Health care provider for any questions you may have regarding.)



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