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August 23, 2013

Men are 20 times more likely to die during exercise than women

KIMBERLY GILLANFRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2013

Men are 20 times more likely to die from sudden cardiac death while exercising than women.

For every million male athletes, 10 will suffer sudden cardiac death, compared with one death in every two million female athletes, according to researchers from Paris Descartes University.

Unlike a heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, sudden cardiac death happens when the heart stops because electrical impulses that make it beat stop working.

The researchers interviewed emergency workers across France about how many cases of sudden cardiac death they had experienced in people doing moderate to vigorous exercise.

Of the 775 reported cases between 2005 and 2010, just 35 were women.

They calculated that 6.6 male cyclists would suffer sudden cardiac death per million male cyclists, compared with just 0.3 female cyclists per million.

Swimming saw fewer sudden cardio deaths, with one male death per million swimmers, compared with 0.2 women per million.

People over the age of 35 were most at risk, with the average age of death being 46 for men and 44 for women.

Sudden cardiac arrest, which is also known as massive heart attack, kills around 33,000 Australians a year. Most deaths occur outside of the hospital.

It can be treated with a defibrillation shock from an ambulance. Patients need to be treated quickly, because every minute that passes after the sudden cardiac arrest decreases a person’s chance of survival by 10 percent.

“It is vital that CPR and defibrillation are given as soon as possible, along with calling Triple Zero (000), to provide the best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest,” said Dr Robert Grenfell, the cardiovascular health director at the Heart Foundation.

Source: Medical Daily Author: Kimberly Gillan; Approving editor: Rory Kinsella

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