A heart attack while exercising – why it happens and who is at risk


Comic Raju Srivastava suffered a coronary heart assault on August 10 whereas understanding in a gymnasium. Through the years, there have been studies linking strenuous bodily exercise to sudden cardiac demise. Does high-intensity train increase the danger of a coronary heart assault?

What causes a coronary heart assault?

Coronary heart assaults are prompted when there’s a sudden blockage within the coronary arteries supplying blood to the center muscle.

“Continual obstruction of 70 per cent or extra in a coronary artery produces angina or chest ache on exertion, since obtainable blood provide doesn’t meet the elevated oxygen demand throughout train. Nevertheless, a coronary heart assault (acute myocardial infarction) also can happen when delicate plaques that kind within the coronary arteries rupture and trigger a big clot to kind. This may occasionally come with none prior warning signs. Even plaques of 30 per cent can rupture and result in the formation of a giant obstructive clot,” stated Prof Okay Srinath Reddy, a heart specialist, epidemiologist, and president, Public Well being Basis of India (PHFI).

A standard false impression is {that a} blockage outcomes from deposits of fats (lipids, ldl cholesterol) and cells on the artery wall — just like blocks in family plumbing. That is incorrect, in response to Dr Tushar Gore, managing director, Resonance Laboratories.

“The blockages are a results of cells and ldl cholesterol particles breaking via the barrier of endothelial cells and infiltrating the liner of the artery. Because of this, there’s a bump within the artery wall — like a pimple. This is called plaque or stenosis. The plaque needn’t bulge into the artery however may protrude outwards as properly… Break-up and disruption of such blockages contained in the coronary artery initiates blood clotting mechanisms to ‘restore’ the damage from plaque disruption,” he says.

In keeping with Dr Reddy, “Plaques kind within the coronary arteries as a result of damage prompted to the blood vessel lining by elements inflicting irritation.”

Fat circulating in blood can then deposit on the web site of damage to develop the plaque, says Dr Reddy.
Hypertension, smoking, diabetes, unhealthy diets, stress, insufficient sleep or latest an infection are elements that may trigger such irritation.

“Every of these continual causes of irritation also can acutely precipitate a plaque rupture resulting in a coronary heart assault, if there’s a sudden or extreme rise in a number of of these elements,” Dr Reddy added.

What causes cardiac demise throughout train?

Sudden cardiac demise throughout strenuous bodily exercise happens extra usually in instances the place blockages are undiagnosed, and generally within the background of a recognized analysis.
Vigorous train also can trigger plaque rupture or set off electrical disturbances within the coronary heart resulting in cardiac arrest, Dr Reddy stated.

Dr Suman Bhandari, Visiting Marketing consultant, Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Escorts Coronary heart Institute, says: “If a affected person is revived in such a state of affairs, she or he stands a greater likelihood as in comparison with sudden cardiac arrest at relaxation the place the center is normally weak (coronary heart failure).”

This doesn’t imply train is dangerous for the center. “It’s important to detect and management the danger elements which construct and rupture plaques within the coronary arteries. Care and warning are all of the extra wanted in Indians who’ve an ethnic susceptibility to experiencing a coronary heart assault at youthful ages than different inhabitants teams,” says Dr Reddy.

Can diagnostic testing assist?

To determine threat, three issues must be detected: presence of small plaque; probability of plaque disruption (often called vulnerability); and the clotting depth of blood. Dependable non-invasive diagnostic exams can be found just for the primary — detection of small plaque. Nonetheless, testing (even when it had been to be obtainable) for every of those won’t supply a assured window into the longer term as a result of all of the three elements change relying on way of life and environmental situations.