November 23, 2011 by staff
Marathon Baby, Those exhilarating moments when marathoners sprint to the finish line on pure adrenaline can prove fatal to vulnerable hearts, a veteran marathon medical director said today.
Taking an 81-milligram baby aspirin and avoiding caffeine on race day — especially supercaffeinated energy drinks — are simple ways that marathon runners can reduce the chances their hearts will give out at race’s end, like those of two men who collapsed Sunday at the 8th Philadelphia Marathon, said Dr. Lewis G. Maharam, board chairman of the International Medical Directors Association.
“Runners are not bullet-proof,” said Maharam. No matter how young or outwardly healthy they feel, runners should undergo an annual physical where a doctor can screen for hidden heart ailments and advise them on ways to reduce the odds of dying.
Both Philadelphia victims were initially said to have suffered apparent heart attacks, although they might have succumbed to sudden death from other cardiac causes, such as fatal heart rhythms. Jeffrey Lee, a 21-year-old University of Pennsylvania senior from Cerritos, Calif., collapsed at the finish line of the Philadelphia Half Marathon and died at Hahnemann University Hospital, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported today. Lee, who was studying both nursing and business, had finished the course in one hour and 58 minutes.
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