A new Canadian study on sudden cardiac death in the young may put some parents minds at rest after several deaths of high-profile athletes in recent years.
Up until now, it was thought the intensity of the exercise was causing young people to suffer cardiac arrest and die.
Parents were becoming concerned and some were pulling their children out of intense sports to prevent the same thing happening to their child. The new report, however, says sudden cardiac death in young people is usually not caused by exercise, reports The Globe And Mail.
The study was conducted by a group of doctors in Ontario. They spent several months looking at autopsy reports of young people who had died suddenly of a heart-related problem. What they discovered was less than 10 percent of the people who had died had done so during exercise. In fact, most had died indoors and while not physically exerting themselves.
The cause of death in many of the people, aged between 18 and 40, was ultimately discovered to be the heart simply malfunctioning, beating too fast and stopping. The person immediately lapsed into unconsciousness and died.
While this may not seem like good news for parents, it actually is. Young people and their parents can feel much more emotionally secure in the fact that dying of cardiac arrest while doing sports is unlikely.
Doctors also say if there is any indication of an abnormally functioning heart, testing should be done immediately. Once diagnosed, things like beta-blockers can be prescribed to help the heart beat regularly.