Heart blockages

Americans living near to a marathon run seem more likely to die from acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest during the run, according to research in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was based on data from patients 65 years of age and over in 11 US cities that hosted major marathons between 2002 and 2012.

Of patients taken to the hospital for acute myocardial infarction or cardiac arrest on a marathon day, 28.2% died within a month versus 24.9% of patients admitted in the weeks before or after a marathon.

Why should this happen? Rather than over-enthusiastic cheering leading to heart failure it’s more likely due to road blockages and similar traffic disruption. On marathon days ambulances took an average extra 4.4 minutes to get patients to hospital.

Picture source: Eric Martin