Nav: Home

Some heart patients ride roller coasters and other thrill-seeking activities despite warnings

November 05, 2018

DALLAS, Nov. 5, 2018 -- Adults with an inherited thickening of the heart muscle, often don't stop participating in thrill-seeking activities despite recommendations that they should. And while some experienced minor consequences, only a few suffered serious health effects as a result, according to preliminary research from an online survey to be presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, characterized by enlarged heart walls, is one of the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young people. Doctors often recommend that people with the condition don't participate in activities like roller coaster riding, jet skiing and more because stimulation to the heart might be too dangerous.

A Yale study examined the safety of thrill-seeking activities among adults diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Researchers examined anonymous online survey responses from 633 adults (average age 51) who were at high-risk for irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). Some had implantable defibrillators and 24.4 percent reported daily symptoms.

Respondents were asked about their participation in roller coaster riding, jet skiing, rafting, bungee jumping, rappelling, paragliding, kayaking/canoeing, motor racing, snowboarding, BASE jumping (including parachuting or wingsuit flying from a cliff) and skydiving, as well as symptoms that occurred because of the thrill-seeking activities.

Researchers found:
  • 331 respondents said they continued to engage in thrill-seeking activities after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

  • Responders engaged in nearly 8,000 total thrill-seeking activities. Nearly 190 people, or about a third, experienced minor symptoms, such as nausea, dizziness, chest pain or palpitations.

  • Nine people reported significant events during or within 60 minutes of participating in a thrill-seeking event, such as passing out or requiring therapy to shock the heart. In four of those cases, the events occurred during roller coaster riding.
"Caregiver advice on activity restrictions is important for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients, especially younger ones, who wish to enjoy a lifestyle as close to their peers as safely possible," said Nikolaos Papoutsidakis M.D., Ph.D., study author and associate research scientist at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. "These results may aid discussions between physicians and patients regarding the safety of participation in thrill-seeking activities."
-end-
Note: Scientific presentation is 2 p.m. CT, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.

Nikolaos Papoutsidakis, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Additional Resources:Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

American Heart Association

Related Heart Muscle Articles:

Muscle protein abundant in the heart plays key role in blood clotting during heart attack
A prevalent heart protein known as cardiac myosin, which is released into the body when a person suffers a heart attack, can cause blood to thicken or clot--worsening damage to heart tissue, a new study shows.
Heart muscle cells change their energy source during heart regeneration
Researchers from the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) have found that the muscle cells in the heart of zebrafish change their metabolism during heart regeneration.
New study may have the reason why heart medication gives muscle pain
The McMaster research team found muscle cells treated with statins released the amino acid called glutamate at much higher levels than muscle cells that were untreated.
Vitamin E found to prevent muscle damage after heart attack
Early studies from scientists at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia and Jena University in Germany have found Vitamin E could be used to save the muscle from dying during a heart attack.
A simple method to improve heart-attack repair using stem cell-derived heart muscle cells
The heart cannot regenerate muscle after a heart attack, and this can lead to lethal heart failure.
What is known -- and not known -- about heart muscle diseases in children
Cardiomyopathies (heart muscle diseases) in children are the focus of a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association that provides insight into the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases as well as identifying future research priorities.
Being overweight as a teen may be associated with higher risk of heart muscle disease in adulthood
The risk of developing cardiomyopathy, which often leads to heart failure, increased in adult Swedish men who were even mildly overweight around age 18.
Heart patch could limit muscle damage in heart attack aftermath
Guided by computer simulations, an international team of researchers has developed an adhesive patch that can provide support for damaged heart tissue, potentially reducing the stretching of heart muscle that's common after a heart attack.
UA scientist identifies cellular gene signatures for heart muscle regeneration
A research team led by Jared Churko, PhD, director of the University of Arizona iPSC Core in the UA Sarver Heart Center, used a transcriptomic approach -- studying what genes are expressed -- to identify gene signatures of cell subpopulations identified as atrial-like or ventricular-like.
Genetic study clarifies the causes of the most severe heart muscle diseases of children
The researchers at the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital have collected a globally unique KidCMP cohort of children with severe cardiomyopathies from the past 21 years, and characterized them genetically.
More Heart Muscle News and Heart Muscle Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.