Infarction in young people: a healthy life issue

Last week we learned, with surprise, that the goalkeeper Iker CasillasHe suffered an acute myocardial infarction during a workout. Fortunately, the former player of the Spanish football team and Real Madrid recovered satisfactorily after being treated very quickly in a hospital in the Portuguese town of Oporto. Apparently, had an obstruction of a coronary artery (which irrigates part of the heart). The treatment consisted of opening that obstructed artery and placing a small spring inside (stent) to allow adequate blood passage.

Unfortunately, Iker Casillas is not the first athlete to suffer a heart attack. The length jumper Yago Lamela, runner-up in the world and best Spanish jumper of all time, died at the age of 36 years of the same disease. The same thing happened to the player of the Real Club Deportivo Espanyol, Dani Jarque, and also footballer Antonio Puerta, among others.

Heart attacks are increasing in the young population. But we have to know how to differentiate a heart attack in an athlete is not the same as a heart attack in a person who is not, even though I'm young. It is known that sports practice, especially when carried out at a professional level, requires a great effort almost daily. This produces an enlargement of the heart walls, since this organ is forced to do a greater job to pump the necessary blood and bring oxygen and nutrients to the muscles used during this effort.

This enlargement, although it is usually adaptive and disappears when you stop practicing sports, has some effects, such as having a resting heart rate lower than a sedentary person (the cyclist Indurain had about 40 beats per minute) or higher chance of having arrhythmias, sudden death or acute myocardial infarction. Many times these disorders reveal other alterations, such as an unknown congenital anomaly in the heart. It is advisable to perform regular checks and an exercise test when sports are carried out regularly and with more reason if there is a risk factor.

The reason for its increase

But why do heart attacks also increase in young people who are not athletes? It seems that the causes are just the opposite. To lead a sedentary life, without practicing any type of sport, the overweight or obesity with an unbalanced diet, Tobacco use, the intake of alcohol, caffeine or Stimulant drinks in excess and the consumption of drugs, especially cocaine, can trigger the chances of having an acute myocardial infarction.

The chances of suffering a heart attack increase after 35 years of age. The hypertension, the increased cholesterol in blood, stress, anxiety and depression, among others, increase the likelihood of having a heart attack or other heart disease. You only have to see middle-aged celebrities like Antonio Banderas or José Coronado, etc.

Back to normal

Will you return to practicing Iker Casillas sport at a professional level? Much has been speculated these days on this question. It is a reality that the training of sports like football requires combining long efforts of medium intensity as the trot with explosive and intense phases. After a heart attack the practice of violent exercises is discouraged. To this we must add that the goalkeeper has placed a stent that will require taking medication so that a clot does not occur and obstructs it. With altered coagulation, there is an increased risk of bleeding after a stroke, such as a doorman usually experiences. Therefore it should be a very thoughtful decision of the keeper with his medical team after the recovery period.

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