Athletes, Heart Conditions and Sudden Death

Lately due to my size, I’ve been looking at my overall health and related issues concerning my well being.

After looking at my blood pressure readings that I had recieved during my physical check-up - I have a feeling of dread.

Both of my parents had massive heart attacks and survived. My father, who was a professional football player in the CFL, had a quad bi-pass and survived. Only to die later at age 44 due to blood poisening sustained after twisting his knee. Shortly after the injury, toxins were released into his system which killed him within 2 weeks.

My Mother had a double bi-pass and survived but suffered from strokes right up untill she passed away in her sleep at 56.

Bascially, the rest of my family died of Cancer. Grrrreat stuff, eh?

So as you can see, I’m pretty much up shit creek if I don’t smarten up or is it out of my hands?

I’ve always been heavy. At 14 years of age I was a huge kid at the same weight I am now. Shortly after my 16th birthday I turned to athletics. Dropping a massive amount of weight ( 340lbs down to 210lbs). I became highly athletic thanks in part to my friends and their recongnition of my skills. I’ve always been agile and had excellent hand/eye co-ordination. Always into sports and what not…anyway…

Since then I’ve been up and down in weight which mostly has to do with the mentality I had during that moment in time. Either I was too light for what I wanted to accomplish or too big. There would be moments where I’d want to be faster and more flexible then there were other times where I wanted to lift a truck (literally).

I took up smoking at age 24 and haven’t looked back since. I also started drinking (sometimes to excess) and throughout that period of time I would be training as hard as I could which probably putmore stress on my heart. Starting at the age of 19, I also used/abused Anabolic Steroids which continued for quite sometime. Now, as some of you might know, I’ve stopped training almost all together. I suffer from shortness of breath, palpitations, fatigue and an overall feeling of unwellness.

There isn’t much in the way of response or motivation that I’m looking for from the F.commies because the answer seems simple enough. But some of the articles I’ve been reading, along with some of the athletes I was surprised to have passed away due to heart conditions at a young age, have me a tad worried.

My goals remain the same and will come to fruition in time but I’m wondering if there’s a snowflakes chance in hell that I’m going to make it past 50. Ha, even if I were to change my health I’m wondering if my mentality will allow me to live any longer.

There’s no doubt that I’ll recover my strength and general fitness but I’m actually wondering if I can prevent dropping dead where I stand. Man, what a way to go…

I’m 28 and I’ve always been a figther so I shouldn’t be thinking about this garbage.

Rant Off

I have been pondering along these same lines. The male members of my family are notoriously short lived. My dad died of heart attack when he was 49, his father (my grandfather) died at 50 for the same reason. All my biological uncles, same deal, about the same age. And I turn 48 in two months! Although the good news is my brother turned 58 last month.

I have used chewing tobacco for over twenty years (risk of oral cancer) and have had borderline hypertension for at least the past ten years. My weight is okay (94 kilos) and I get regular (albeit moderate) exercise. I went through a long period of fairly heavy drinking but have been completely off the booze for about the past 4 years.

My diet sucks; Taiwanese breakfast sandwiches, 7-11 lunch boxes, MacDonalds.

The way I see it how long anybody makes it is about 50% in their hands, about 50% up to the Fates, Furies, Gods and Goddesses. I do what I can to improve my health (taiji, qi gong, a bit of mild aerobics) but I also realize no power on this earth can guarantee I will live to see tonights dusk. Bruce Lee died in his early thirties, the cigarette smoking old crone in our building lived to be 98 (she was born in the Qing dynasty!).

My working assumption is today is my last day. I do what I ought to do; love my wife, be a good teacher to my students, try (usually with mixed success) to treat others halfway decently, say my prayers and see what happens.

Speaking of which time to go get those healthy breakfast sandwiches and a copy of the paper (studies show reading the Taiwanese news provides laughs and laughter is good for longevity).

Take care,

[quote=“M0NSTER”]There’s no doubt that I’ll recover my strength and general fitness but I’m actually wondering if I can prevent dropping dead where I stand. Man, what a way to go…

[color=blue]I’m 28 and I’ve always been a figther so I shouldn’t be thinking about this garbage. [/color]

Rant Off[/quote]

I agree you shouldn’t dwell on it. But, to acknowledge the risk and do something about it is a different matter.

My wake up calls came from one of my dads employees. He was a national hockey player and superbly fit. He got a check up because he was suddenly finding himself in difficulty while running then inexplicably he would come good again.

Turned out he had a lump of fatty tissue that would block an artery then open up again. The funny part was that my brother used to tell him he was killing off half of Melbourne delivering the products my family made and sold. Dairy and other farm produce. Cholesterol city. He also had a sausage and egg style diet. I clearly remember him after his operation saying to my brother in a sheepish but funny way “you were right”

I can’t see any reason why you can’t get yourself into good fighting fit shape. Go for it.

I just came back from a short trip back home. At this ten days I stayed there several things happend which made me thinking:

  • 5 days after my arrival my aunt (age 54) got a heart attack , she survived but is in recovery program now

  • another 3 days later, my father (age 59) got a brain stroke (not sure whats the english word for it, i think you get what I mean), he surrvived too and seems to be keep not too much back of it

  • That was in 10 days staying there. About 1 1/2 month before that, another uncle of mine died.

  • A year ago my mother (age 53) died suddenly also by heart attack.

I got myself a bike now and try to ride everyday a bit, eat more vegatable and watch a bit more what I eat. I also droped from about 125 kg to 100 kg and I want do bring it down below the 3 digits.

Just my commend…

I too have a terrible family history, my dad had a bypass at 36, died waiting for a transplant at 56, granpa made it to 57. I also had a major heart attack sometime before I was 40. I say sometime because I don’t know when I had it, I never really felt it or if I did I ignored it and wrote it off to heartburn or something. This is the worst kind because it went untreated so the heart muscle died.
The great thing is now they transplant muscle tissue from your leg into your heart and repair the damage. I had this procedure 3 years ago and I am doing very well.
Before I had the surgery, I gained over 60 LBS and could not even walk up one flight of stairs without having major chest pain and SOB.
Now i walk up 9 flights of stairs, ride a bycycle, walk at least an hour a day, kayak, and bodysurf on a boogieboard without too much trouble.

Hang in there and do your part with the diet and exercise thing, science keeps on getting better so there is always hope

Encouragment from a survior.

Can you tell me/us where this procedure was done (country, hospital name)?

Sure, glad to.

America, Arizona Heart Institute. Also I belive the Cleaveland Clinic and a few others are doing it.
I was the 19th person to have it done, so it was still experimental.
The procedure is called a myoblast transplant so if you google it you can find some details.

Good luck.

Thanks, bobl. This was fast and is a very good piece of information. :bravo:

Geez… well look at the bright side guys, no need to save for retirement hey :smiley:

My Opa lived till 94 after smoking most of his life, my grandfather died of a heart attack at ~70. My Oma is still going strong, expect that she could live to 100. Grandmother will probably also live to 100.

I expect due to the fact that I dont smoke (except Taiwan’s air is like 2nd hand smoke), that I could live to 100. But I think my and all of our diets are probably much worse than what our recent ancestors had.